MB2 Motorsports and Valvoline Racing have revealed that Mike Skinner will drive the team's #10 Chevrolet in NASCAR's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway early next month.

Skinner earned the right to compete in the Budweiser Shootout, a special race for 2003 pole winners and former champions, as a result of winning the pole position while driving the US Army/MB2 Motorsports entry in the 2003 fall race in Richmond. The #10 car will be crewed by the Valvoline team, led by crew chief Doug Randolph, who serves in the same capacity for rookie driver Scott Riggs in the Nextel Cup Series.

"I am fired up about the ride and the race," Skinner claimed, "I feel we have the ingredients to put on a good show. I'll have a good car, good crew and I like to draft. Another positive is that I get along so well with the folks at MB2 and Valvoline - we hit it off last year and it is sure exciting to come back and race for them again."

Skinner replaces Johnny Benson in the #10 Valvoline car, after the previous incumbent parted company with the team at the end of the 2003 season.

"We are thrilled to have Mike compete in our #10 team car," said James Rocco, senior vice-president of the Valvoline Company, "He has always been a fierce competitor as well as being an excellent superspeedway racer. We look forward to a great race and having Mike represent Valvoline Racing."

Skinner will be joined in the Shootout by MB2 team-mate Boris Said, who will compete in the #01 US Army Chevrolet. Said qualified for the Shootout by winning the pole in the Army car at last year's race at Sears Point.

"Having both teams in the Budweiser Shootout is a real tribute to the strength of our operation," said MB2 general manager Jay Frye, "This has always been a prestigious race and we are excited to be part of it. It's a great way to start the new season and I am confident that it will also enhance our Daytona 500 programme."

This season's race will be Skinner's fifth appearance in the Budweiser Shootout, an event in which he has a best finish of fourth from 1999.

 

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