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NASCAR Winston Cup Pennsylvania 500 -- #31, Mike Skinner

16 July 1997

 #31 Mike Skinner, Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo             
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Pennsylvania 500 Advance
 Pocono Raceway

LONG POND, PA - Skinner has been the top finishing rookie in 10 of the 17 
races run so far this season. As a result, he holds a comfortable point lead 
in the race for the 1997 Rookie of the Year Award. Skinner has earned 171 
points compared to 138 for David Green, 125 for Robby Gordon and 53 for Jeff 
Green. "It's too early to be counting rookie points," says Skinner. "Since 
only the top 15 finishes count, it is still anybody's game. Any one of the 
four of us can still win it. We need to run a lot better during the second 
half of the season if we want to win the rookie deal. And I think we will. 
But I'm sure Robby, David and Jeff will too."

 - Skinner has won two pole positions in his rookie season, both coming at 
Daytona International Speedway. He is the first driver to win both the 
Daytona 500 and the Pepsi 400 pole positions in his rookie campaign. The last 
rookie to win more than one pole position in his rookie year was Loy Allen. 
Allen won three in 1994. The late Davey Allison holds the rookie record with 
five poles in 1987.

 - Since no driver has won more than three pole positions so far this season, 
Skinner is still very much in the hunt for the $40,000 that goes to the top 
pole winner of the season. "I know the odds are against us," says Skinner, 
"but I think we've got a shot at the Busch Pole Award. If we can win two 
more, that might be enough." Dale Jarrett leads the race for the $40,000 with 
three. Skinner and Mark Martin are tied for second with two apiece.

 - After four straight finishes of 33rd or worse, Skinner finished 21st in 
last Sunday's Jiffy Lube 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. "We 
really needed that," says Skinner. "We were a little off chassis-wise, but 
still we were able to run all day and not have any trouble. We needed to put 
an end to this slump, and we needed to run all day and finish a race. So 
while the finish wasn't what we would have liked, we accomplished what we 
wanted -- and needed."

 - Skinner's run of bad luck started with the first race at Pocono Raceway. 
He finished 41st in the Pocono 500 after suffering engine failure on lap 79. 
"We had a real good car, and we led a couple of laps before we had the engine 
problems," said Skinner. "So I feel good about our second time at Pocono. If 
we can run as well as we did the first time and run all day without any 
trouble, we can get us a good finish -- maybe even a top 10."

 - Skinner's career-best finish of ninth came in the Miller 500 at Dover 
Downs International Speedway.

 - Skinner is "really looking forward to going back to all these tracks a 
second time. The team and I learned a great deal the first time around, and 
everyone on the Lowe's team believes we can have a very good second half."

By Sports Marketing Enterprises