Martinsville II: Mike Skinner preview

MAKING HIS 200th START: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) veteran Mike Skinner will make his 200th career truck series start when the green flag waves for the start of the Kroger 200 this Saturday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Skinner ...

MAKING HIS 200th START: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) veteran Mike Skinner will make his 200th career truck series start when the green flag waves for the start of the Kroger 200 this Saturday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Skinner began his career in the series in 1995, starting his first race -- and going on to win - at Phoenix International Raceway. Mike Skinner has scored 28 victories in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition and has earned 88 top-five and 128 top-10 finishes during his NCWTS career.

50TH FIRST: In addition to making his 200th start this weekend, Skinner will be gunning for the 50th pole position of his NCWTS career. Skinner tops all the competition in this category and has led the field to the green twice this season and on two previous occasions in Martinsville.

SKINNER AT MARTINSVILLE: The driver of the No. 5 PC*MILER Navigator Toyota has competed in more truck series events at Martinsville than at any other track, having made 13 starts at the .526-mile Virginia track. Skinner has visited victory lane on three occasions (including both events in 2007) and has earned six top-five and nine top-10 finishes. He started from the pole position three times and has eight top-10 qualifying efforts. In addition, the 1995 Truck Series champion has competed in 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on the concrete oval, scoring one top five and three top-10 finishes.

SKINNER'S THOUGHTS ON MARTINSVILLE: "I look forward to going back to Martinsville with Eric [Phillips -- crew chief] because we went there for the first time together in the spring race and I feel like we're a better team now than we were then. I think we ended up with a halfway decent finish then, so it's a good racetrack for us. I love Martinsville. I love the fans up there and the whole setting. Short track racing is like drag racing with two hard, sharp corners, so I always enjoy going to Martinsville. My very first race there, if I'm not mistaken, was a Cup race in 1986. I ran my very first Winston Cup race at Martinsville and I'll never forget Tim Richmond was on the pole and I think Ricky Rudd won the race. I'll never forget standing there and being in the race with Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty and all these great drivers and champions. They started doing the National Anthem and I basically got teary eyed. I think about that moment every race when they are doing the National Anthem. I think about that moment at Martinsville, Virginia. It's a special place to me."

AND ON HIS TRUCK SERIES CAREER: "We left the truck series in 1997 and didn't come back full time until 2004. I don't have any regrets about what we did in the Sprint Cup Series, but if we'd have stayed in the truck series we probably could have set some records that would be hard for anybody to ever catch. It's a double edged sword. I don't regret that, but I have to think that I could easily be making my 400th start or however many races there have been and the fact of some of the stats that we could have put up there. We've got 27 or 28 wins or something like that and 49 poles. I just wonder what those numbers could have been if we would have stayed in the trucks the whole time. It's pretty awesome, it's an honor. I don't know if I'll be around to make 300 or not, but it sure as heck looks like I'm going to make the 200th one next weekend."

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Both Skinner and his teammate Tayler Malsam tested their Toyota Tundras at Little Rock Speedway located in Rockingham, North Carolina in preparation for this weekend's event. Though the session on Monday, October 12th was cut short by rain, the team was able to get in several practice runs in the morning. Prior to that test session, Skinner had never been at that track.

PHILLIPS' CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew Chief Eric Phillips and the No. 5 Randy Moss Motorsports team will utilize chassis MDM-106 for this weekend's event. One of the strongest trucks in the RMM stables, the team has run this Toyota Tundra in seven previous outings this season, including the March Martinsville Speedway event. This is also the truck with which the team was victorious at both Iowa Speedway and Gateway (St. Louis) International Raceway events.

THIS SEASON'S STATS: The No. 5 team has posted eight top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 20 events this season, including three wins, which came at Kansas Speedway, Iowa Speedway and Gateway (St. Louis) International Raceway. Skinner holds down the third spot in the NCWTS driver point standings, 58 markers behind second place and 255 points out of first.

BRING YOUR SHARPIE: On behalf of Toyota, Mike Skinner will be signing autographs for fans in the midway area of the track grounds at the Toyota PitPass display on Saturday, October 24 from 10-10:30 a.m. Many of his fellow Toyota drivers will also take part in the event.

-credit: rmm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Mike Skinner , Richard Petty , Tayler Malsam , Tim Richmond