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NASCAR Winston Cup Series MBNA 400 Preview: #31, Mike Skinner

17 September 1997

 #31 Mike Skinner, Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo     
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 MBNA 400 Advance
 Dover Downs International Speedway
                  MIKE SKINNER NOTES & QUOTES: MBNA 400
DOVER, DE - Skinner finished ninth in the first race this year at Dover Downs 
International Speedway for the first top-10 of his Winston Cup career.

 - His two other top-10s have come in the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono 
Raceway (sixth) and in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway 

 - Skinner has qualified in the top five four times this season including 
fourth at last week's CMT 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. 

 - Skinner is one of seven drivers who have two pole positions this year. 
Both of Skinner's poles came at Daytona International Speedway. He is the 
first driver to ever win the pole positions for both races at Daytona in 
his rookie season. 

 - No driver has yet to win a third pole position this season. However, 
Dale Jarrett is credited with a third pole since Bobby Hamilton, who won 
the pole for the first race at Pocono does not participate in the Busch Pole 
Award. Jarrett posted the second-fastest speed for the Pocono 500. This means 
Jarrett is the leader in the race for the $40,000 that will go to the driver 
with the most poles this season. 

 - Despite a recent run of bad luck, Skinner remains the leader in the race 
for the NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year Award. Skinner has earned 210 
rookie points in the first 25 races compared to 180 for Robby Gordon, 171 for 
David Green and 137 for Jeff Green.

 - Since finishing ninth in the Brickyard 400 for his second straight top 10, 
Skinner has an average finish of 30.5 for the last six races. "I don't know 
what's going on, but people keep running into us," says Skinner. "It's like 
we've hot a bullseye painted on the car that says 'hit me.' I'm getting 
mighty tired of it, and I know the crew is too as they have to keep 
rebuilding race cars. We haven't run as well as we would have liked during 
this streak, but we sure would have finished a lot better than we have if 
people didn't keep running into us."

 - Skinner hopes a return to Dover means a return to the top 10. "If we can 
avoid all the trouble that usually takes place at Dover like we did the first 
time, we can get us another top 10," says Skinner. "I know we've got some top 
10s in us if we can just get this gorilla off our back. Our luck the last 
four or five races has been horrible. If people aren't running into us, we're 
cutting a tire. We just can't seem to catch a break. If we can run the whole 
race without any trouble, we can get us a top 10. This Lowe's team is a lot 
better than our record shows."

By Sports Marketing Enterprises