Michigan: Mike Skinner preview

MOORESVILLE, NC (July 23, 2003) -Mike Skinner knows what it takes to build a successful NASCAR team. He has owned his own teams and he has driven for one of the most accomplished team owners in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Richard Childress. So...

MOORESVILLE, NC (July 23, 2003) -Mike Skinner knows what it takes to build a successful NASCAR team. He has owned his own teams and he has driven for one of the most accomplished team owners in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Richard Childress. So when Skinner talks about what it takes to make a championship contender he has team owner Billy Ballew's full attention.

'Mike has been great to work with," Ballew said. 'He has done everything that he said he would do or anything that we have asked of him. Ultimately I know his input is going to have a major impact on our operation."

Skinner makes his third consecutive start in the Billy Ballew Motorsports VOKAL Clothing entry. It comes at a track that Skinner has many miles on in Winston Cup competition, Michigan International Speedway. This time he will drive a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry in the Sears 200 on Saturday.

"There are a lot of places that you can pass at Michigan," Skinner said. "But like at a lot of other places if you don't have the handling package then you aren't going to be as fast as you want. The key to going fast down the straightaway is to get through the corners. Having a great motor is going to help you but if your aerodynamics are off or if you miss your set up it makes it tough."

Skinner knows from his years of experience behind some pretty good Winston Cup cars that there are several elements that make for a good day at Michigan. Sometimes it is just a matter of who your friends are.

"Drafting plays a huge factor at Michigan," Skinner said. "It plays a bigger role with the trucks than in the other series. These things punch such a huge hole in the air that you can use that to your advantage and I think experience really helps in the draft."

As for assisting with Ballew's operation it is a job that Skinner readily accepts. He knows how hard it is for someone to build a top-flight team and thinks Ballew is headed in the right direction.

"I am on a mission to help Billy Ballew," Skinner says. "Billy is dedicated to making his operation as good as it can possibly be and I admire his willingness to do what it takes to make it better. I am committed to helping him achieve his goals. Whatever we can do now will help his next driver and his sponsors."

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams and drivers are set to compete in the Sears 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday July 26th. The event will be broadcast live by the Speed Channel and MRN Radio at 1:00pm ET.

-bbm-

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner