Talladega: Mike Skinner race notes

Morgan-McClure Motorsports No.4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo RACE: No. 9 of 36--4-21-02--Talladega Superspeedway Aaron's 499 Started: 42 Finished: 23 Laps Completed: 187/188 Points: 26th, 800 points, gained two positions Winston Cup Career starts...

Morgan-McClure Motorsports
No.4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo
RACE: No. 9 of 36--4-21-02--Talladega Superspeedway
Aaron's 499
Started: 42
Finished: 23
Laps Completed: 187/188
Points: 26th, 800 points, gained two positions
Winston Cup Career starts for Skinner: 176

In somewhat of a roller coaster weekend, the No. 4 KODAK MAX Film Monte Carlo finished the crash fest at Talladega Superspeedway in one piece. Only missing the big wreck on Sunday by inches, Mike Skinner drove the Morgan-McClure Motorsports entry into the Winston Cup garage with a 23rd place finish and a two-position gain in the championship points standings.

A grim qualifying effort on Friday took the backseat to being the fastest in first practice on Saturday. Team spirit uplifted with renewed hope of a good day during the 188-lap event on Sunday.

Showing a strong run during the opening laps of the ninth race of the 2002 season on Sunday, Skinner muscled his way towards the front of the field. In packs consisting of four and five wide racing, only inches apart at speeds of 200 M.P.H., Skinner worked through the hornet's nest to make it up to the 14th spot.

A pit stop on lap 50 proved to be a turning point for the four-time Talladega winning team. Although the pit stop was a 15.5 second stop (the car pulled in the pits too close to pit wall and the jackman hit pit wall jacking the car), the car stalled when leaving the pits. This cost the team another three seconds. Once Skinner returned to the track, he was in a group of five cars. He got shuffled to the bottom and went to the back of the pack. The No. 4 car would not run well without someone behind it to help push it. Eventually, it lost the draft and lost a lap in the process.

The next stop on the NASCAR Winston Cup schedule is California Speedway in Ontario, Calif., Skinner's birthplace. Skinner started the 2001 event 27th and finished 32nd after completing 249 of 250 laps.

Scott Eggleston quotes: "@We went from 42nd to 14th. Then the car got down in the lane and it shuffled us all the way back to 38th. That is Talladega racing. Following a pit stop on lap 50, we just could not get back into the lead draft of cars. The car would not run well without someone behind us to help push us to the front. Unfortunately, we never caught a break to get our lap back.

"We hope to get all of the bits and pieces of our good runs, practices and qualifying efforts together in one weekend. Hopefully that will happen soon."

-mmm-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mike Skinner