BUSCH: Skinner/ Phoenix preview

CHARLOTTE, N.C --- Phoenix International Raceway stands out in the record books for both Andy Petree Racing and driver Mike Skinner. APR had a very solid performance in the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series race at Phoenix in 1999 and Skinner...

CHARLOTTE, N.C --- Phoenix International Raceway stands out in the record books for both Andy Petree Racing and driver Mike Skinner. APR had a very solid performance in the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series race at Phoenix in 1999 and Skinner dominated at the track during his tenure in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Last season's NASCAR Busch Series race at Phoenix really stands out in the mind of Andy Petree Racing crew chief Chris Carrier. The Albertson's crew prepared the No. 15 Chevrolet in pole-winning form as the team turned in the fastest lap of the day at 27.782 seconds and 129.580 mph. "Phoenix was our third pole position last year and we were all very confident about the race," said Carrier. "Even though the car had been tight all day, we ran in the top-five for most of the race. Almost every pit stop was under green-flag conditions and we were constantly making adjustments to the car. On the final pit-stop we sent the No. 15 out in seventh-place and that's where we finished." Another plus for Andy Petree Racing in 2000 is that the driver of the Albertson's Chevrolet is a proven winner at Phoenix. Skinner ran four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at PIR before making the jump to the NASCAR Winston Cup series full time. In those four races he accumulated one pole position, two wins (both in 1995) and four top-fives. "Phoenix has been a great track for me," Skinner said. "It was quite a feeling to win the first Craftsman Truck Series race ever at Phoenix. It was an experience I didn't think could be matched. But that fall when I clinched the title there, it instantly became one of my favorite tracks. I haven't had as much success there in the Winston Cup races I've ran, but don't count me out in either the Winston Cup or Busch Series race." In addition to Skinner's track record at Phoenix is the success Andy Petree experienced in the Winston Cup Series both as a car owner and crew chief. Petree's accomplishments at Phoenix began as crew chief for Dale Earnhardt. In the three years they were together, Petree and Earnhardt finished in the top-five at Phoenix twice. And in 1998, the Petree owned No.33 captured the pole at PIR with driver Ken Schrader at the wheel. As the No.15 Albertson's Chevrolet takes to the track for its last race of 2000, there is only one thing missing from the season...a victory. Skinner and the Albertson's crew have led 36 laps, captured a Busch pole and collected one top-10 in five races, but they can't call the season a complete success without a trip to victory lane. "We have been running a limited Busch Series schedule for three years at APR," Carrier said. "Skinner has been one of the best drivers to sit in the No. 15 and we have come close to victory lane a few times. With our success and Mike's statistics at Phoenix, this could be the icing on the cake for the APR Busch program and Albertson's." Petree has earned the reputation of accomplished car owner and winning crew chief in the Winston Cup Series. Petree knows that a Busch Series win would be the final component to his successful Busch program. "The success of our Busch program is an extension of the effort we put into all of our racing operations," said Petree. "The crew at APR work hard and work as a cohesive unit, not as three separate teams or two different series. The Albertson's team has performed well this year and a win at Phoenix would be a true testament to their effort and talent."

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Mike Skinner , Ken Schrader , Andy Petree , Chris Carr