Mike Skinner (racing driver)
His first start in the NASCAR had Skinner in 1986 in Winston Cup, now Sprint Cup, when he at the Martinsville Speedway participated in the Sovran Bank 500. He started on the 27th place, and came in 22nd place finish. In the coming years, Skinner drove very few Winston Cup race. From 1986 to 1994, he joined a total of ten times in the Winston Cup. He never achieved a better result than the one he achieved in his very first start, 22 place at this launch.
In 1995, Skinner competed in the Craftsman Truck Series newly established. He won eight races, including the first ever discharged race of the series and the season finale. Seven times he started from the pole position. At the end of the season, his trip 3224 points to win the championship. Also in 1996, he drove the full Truck season. He again won eight times and came 20 times in the top 10, but it was only enough for third place in the overall standings. Ron Hornaday Jr. was champion. , The " fighting " for the championship between Ron Hornaday Jr. and Mike Skinner shaped the image of the racing series.
In 1997, however, Skinner went to only a very few races in the Craftsman Truck Series, as he drove a full-time pilot the # 31 Richard Childress Racing in Winston Cup, where in the first race, the Daytona 500, his car he on the took pole position. He won the Rookie of the Year Award and was 30 the driver standings. Three times it was enough for a top 10 ranking, twice for the pole position for the first time in the Daytona 500 and then again in the Pepsi 400, the second race in Daytona Beach. The 1998 season was relatively uneventful for Skinner. In the Daytona 500, he helped his teammate Dale Earnhardt for the win. It was Earnhardt's first victory in the Daytona 500 Skinner came four times in the top 5 and nine times in the top 10.
The 1999 season was the best in the Winston Cup career by Skinner. He met five times in the top 5 and 14 times in the top 10, earning tenth place in the overall standings. His best finish was a third place in the UAW -GM Quality 500 in Pennsylvania 500 and Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 he started from the pole position. In the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series, in which he competed 13 times in 1999, Skinner won the Yellow Freight 300 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. In the 2000 season, Skinner won almost his first race when he, 191 laps led the spring race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500, but then had to give up just before the end with an engine failure. A few weeks later in the DieHard 500, he finished second behind Jeff Gordon. That was his only top 5 ranking in the 2000 season. He came eleven times in the top 10 and was twelfth overall.
In the 2001 season, Skinner went back for Richard Childress Racing in Winston Cup, but he left due to injury and poor performance of the team at the end of the season. He drove only 23 of the 36 races, with his best finish in a point race in ninth place in the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 was. Skinner won the second Gatorade Duel, making it one of the few riders who have won the Gatorade Duel, but never won in the Cup series.
For the 2002 season, Skinner found a place at Morgan - McClure Motorsports, where he piloted the start number 4. The season ran for Skinner, as many expected, disappointing. Only once he came in the top 10. Five times he was forced to retire with engine problems. He was only 31 in the driver standings. The 2003 season was a disappointing one for Skinner, so he left the team after 14 races. By the end of the year he drove for several teams, among others, the car with the start number 00 of Michael Waltrip Racing. In the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, he started on the pole position. However, he came into the season not even in the top 10, so he decided in 2004 not more full season in the Nextel Cup to drive, but back in the Craftsman Truck Series to help Toyota for going into NASCAR.
In the Craftsman Truck Series 2004 season, Skinner came four times in the top 5 and nine times in the top 10. In Las Vegas 350 and Silverado 350K he started on the pole position. He finished the season in eleventh place in the overall standings. The year 2005 was already running much better for Skinner, he won the O'Reilly 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee and a race on the Cheerios Betty Crocker 200 at Richmond International Raceway. In the overall standings, it was enough for fifth place. In 2006, it was enough just to tenth place in the overall standings. He reached eight top - five finishes and 13 top- 10 finishes. In Smith 's Las Vegas 350 he won after he led 114 laps of the race.
At the beginning of the Craftsman Truck Series 2007 season, Skinner was not considered one of the top favorites for the title, but relatively quickly, he showed that Skinner will drive for the championship. After a fourth place finish in the first race of the season, he won three times in a row. In the spring race at Atlanta, he began a series of six consecutive pole positions. As the season turned out that it will again be the battle between Hornaday Jr. and Skinner, who coined the image of the series in its early years. At the end of the season Skinner and Hornaday Jr. had frequent bad luck, so that the points lead changed frequently. Before the last race of the season, the Ford 200, Skinner had 29 points ahead of Hornaday. In the race he had to struggle with tire problems. Because of this, he came up with eleven laps to the finish as 35 and lost in the final race of the season lead in the championship. Skinner won five times, came 17 times in the top 5 and 20 times in the top 10. 2008 Skinner won the Qwik Liner Las Vegas 350
Skinner is an amateur snooker player and takes in the winter when there are no races in tournaments. He is also an avid golfer.