Mike Skinner has a robust record at Texas Motor Speedway in the Camping World Truck Series, but it comes with a tinge of frustration, too, that he'd like to end Friday with a victory in the WinStar Casino World 400.
Skinner has three second-place finishes, two thirds and a fourth at the high-banked 1.5-mile track in Fort Worth. He has an average finish of 5.5, the best among the drivers entered for the eighth race of the season, and has led 458 laps in his 10 starts. Skinner has also completed all 1,580 laps in the truck races he's run at Texas.
"The racetrack has really been good to me at times and it has been bad to me at times, but it is definitely on my top-five list of favourite racetracks we go to," Skinner said. "We generally run good at Texas. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but to win any one of these races at any track is special, but to win at Texas would be a little more special. It would be like winning at Daytona. I have a Bristol win and that is such a prestigious race to win, so I would love to add a win at Texas."
Skinner has had an outstanding start in his first season with Randy Moss Motorsports, particularly considering the effort wasn't put together until February. The 1995 series champion had to scramble after previous organization Bill Davis Racing was sold in the offseason and the new owners shelved the racing portion of the business.
Skinner drove RMM's Toyota to its first victory in the rain-shortened fifth race at Kansas, and five top 10s have him in second place in the points, 27 behind leader Ron Hornaday Jr.
Hornaday had back-to-back wins at Texas last season and will be driving the same KHI truck, chassis #024. The three-time series champion drove that same truck to victory at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May.
Hornaday is the all-time leader in the truck series with 40 wins, but he's never put together three straight at one track.
"To win three races in a row at the same place shows just how dominant a team can be there," Hornaday said. "Brendan (Gaughan) won four in a row (at Texas) a few years ago, so I guess I would just be trying to catch him."
Toyota driver Todd Bodine has four of his 16 career wins in the truck series at Texas.
"When Germain Racing takes the Copart Tundra to Texas, we know we can win there," Bodine said. "We know how to get around that track. It's still up to us to make sure we have the Copart Tundra set up to do it, but, obviously with that history, you know what you are capable of at Texas."
Kyle Busch, in fourth place in the points, will miss his second truck race of the season because he's racing in the Sprint Cup race at Pocono and the Nationwide race at Nashville Superspeedway this weekend. Brian Ickler will replace him in the #51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota. Ickler finished fifth at Kansas in his previous race in the #51 with crew chief Doug George. He's also driven Ballew's #15 at Lowe's, finishing 16th, and Dover, finishing 25th.
by Tim Tuttle/Sporting News