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The Callahan Report: Skinner wins, then loses Yellow Freight 300

14 March 1999

By Terry Callahan
The Auto Channel
HAMPTON, GA: The old saying, "it aint over 'til it's over" is no longer true. The new saying is "It's not over 'till NASCAR says it's over." Mike Skinner will have to wait until Monday afternoon to find out if he won the Yellow Freight 300 Busch Grand National race in Atlanta.

Skinner was declared the winner of the race Saturday when he beat sophomore driver Dave Blaney to the finish line by 40 car lengths. Skinner's victory was taken from him after the mandatory post-race inspection of his Chevrolet Monte Carlo. NASCAR officials found that Skinner's car was in violation of the engine rules. Specifically, "All Cylinder heads must be NASCAR approved and all modifications must be submitted to NASCAR before any proposed modifications will be eligible for approval."

Skinner's team has filed an appeal. The final judgement is expected Monday afternoon after a review of all the details have been examined. NASCAR will make the ruling from their headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Skinner said Sunday, "I'm really happy for Dave Blaney, but he didn't win the race yesterday.'' The driver of the Yellow Freight Monte Carlo continued, "We had a great engine and I'm sure there was no way they would have put anything in there that could be questioned because they knew we were likely to be looked at."

The infraction is not unprecedented in NASCAR Busch Grand National competition. Dale Jarrett had a victory stripped away in 1994 at Michigan after a post-race inspection found his car to be "outside the rules".