*Skinner's Pole Streak Ends NCTS Etc.: Poles, Politics and Pulling Double-Duty Skinner's Pole Streak Ends ... Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) saw his streak of consecutive Budweiser Poles end at six last Friday, two short of the...
*Skinner's Pole Streak Ends
NCTS Etc.: Poles, Politics and Pulling Double-Duty
Skinner's Pole Streak Ends ... Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota Tundra Toyota) saw his streak of consecutive Budweiser Poles end at six last Friday, two short of the series record he set in 1995. Skinner was knocked off the pole by Todd Bodine (No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota) by 0.081 of-a-second.
Skinner is the most proficient qualifier in series history. He has 38 career poles in 138 starts, leading 2nd place Jack Sprague by eight poles.
Skinner set the series record with eight consecutive poles in 1995, the series' inaugural season. He went on to win four of those races.
Skinner won two of the six races he started on the pole this season. He has won seven races from the pole in his career, one short of Sprague's series record.
Team Owner Hits Political Road ... Gene Christensen, owner of Green Light Racing, announced his candidacy to run for U.S. Congress on Friday. The Colin County resident is seeking to represent Texas' 4th Congressional District.
Green Light Racing fields two trucks in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series -- the No. 07 Lester Buildings Chevrolet driven by Tim Sauter and the No. 08 GPSStore.com Chevrolet driven by Chad McCumbee.
In addition to his duties as owner and president of Green Light Racing, Christensen is a businessman and philanthropist. He is the Executive Director of People Against Drugs and the Affordable Public Housing Agency.
NEXTEL Cup Stars Go Truckin' ... At least six NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series stars will trade in their cars for trucks this weekend to compete in the Michigan 200.
AJ Allmendinger (No. 00 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota), Kevin Harvick, Bobby Labonte (No. 4 Open Joist Dodge), Ken Schrader (No. 18 Fastenal Dodge), Mark Martin (No. 21 Ford), and Kyle Busch (No. 51 Chevrolet) are all expected to compete in Saturday's race.
Martin and Labonte finished two-three to Johnny Benson at Michigan last year.
Toyota Leads Manufacturers' Standings
Todd Bodine became the first Toyota driver to go to Victory Lane since Mike Skinner won at Martinsville in March. With the win, Toyota was able to stretch its lead in the Manufacturers' Standings to 12 points over Chevrolet.
Chevrolet had closed the gap to seven points after reeling off three straight victories -- two by Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet). Hornaday Jr. was the top finishing Chevrolet on Friday, but the manufacturer lost points after finishing behind a Toyota and a Ford.
Rick Crawford finished third in Friday's race, the highest finish for a Ford. Ken Schrader finished eighth, the highest for a Dodge.
In The Loop: Skinner and Bodine Stay Near Top Of Loop Data
The hits just keep on coming for Mike Skinner.
Skinner's pre-race numbers for last Friday's race at Texas Motor Speedway were near or at the top of most of the Loop Data statistics. He finished second.
Now, Skinner returns to a track where he has had similar success -- Michigan International Speedway. In two races at the track, Skinner has an average Driver Rating of 114.1 (third-best), an Average Running Position of 8.026 (third-best) and the third-fastest Green Flag Speed at Michigan over the past two years.
He also has 182 Laps in the Top 15, which is the second-most.
Last week's winner, Todd Bodine also has good numbers at Michigan. He has a 96.3 Driver Rating and an Average Running Position of 11.424.
Adding intrigue will be the participation of a number of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series regulars. Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin, Kyle Bush, AJ Allmendinger and Bobby Labonte will all pull double duty and run the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race as well.
Harvick and Martin, in particular, have excellent numbers in the Craftsman Trucks. Thanks to a second-place finish in last year's race at Michigan, Martin has the top pre-race Driver Rating at 143.1 and an Average Running Position of 2.696. He also has 33 Fastest Laps Run, which is more than any driver.
Harvick, with a fourth-place finish in 2005, has an Average Running Position of 5.670 and a Driver Rating of 122.7.
Next Race: Michigan 200
The Place: Michigan International Speedway
The Date: June 16
The Time: 3 p.m. (ET)
TV: SPEED, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 2-mile oval
Race Purse: $617,811
2006 Winner: Johnny Benson
2006 Pole: Mike Skinner
Schedule: Friday -- Practice 10 a.m. -- 11:25 a.m.; 1:10 p.m.. -- 1:40 p.m. (rookies) and 1:50 p.m. -- 3 p.m. Saturday - Qualifying 11:05 a.m.