Fain Skinner Has Strong Showing In ARCA Debut
Fain Skinner Has Strong Showing In ARCA Debut
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (February 20, 2012)
Knight Motorsports Management
February 20, 2012
- - Two weeks ago, Fain Skinner wasn’t 100 percent sure he would be competing in this past Saturday’s Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. However, the racing gods answered his prayers and the opportunity to transform from a spectator into a racecar driver at “The World Center of Racing” would come true.
The Live Oak, Florida native would pair with fellow Floridian and former ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards winner Mario Gosselin to field the No. 39 CarportEmpire.com / American Steel Carports Ford Fusion in the first of 20 races this season.
Acquiring a car from the Roush Fenway Racing stables, Gosselin’s DGM Racing team methodically prepared their blue oval all with the intentions of giving the NASCAR driver an opportunity to impress and make a statement in his restrictor plate debut.
Despite posting the 36th fastest lap during the four-hour practice session on Thursday afternoon, the Late Model veteran refused to get rattled as he several of his competitors drafted during the affair compared to the team’s mission of single-car runs.
An intense qualifying session on Friday would keep many on pins and needles but Skinner’s lap of 50.395 seconds at 178.589 miles per hour safely secured him into the starting field by landing in the 25th position. To the team’s advantage, three teams were penalized for post-qualifying infractions which shifted the starting lineup and now found the No. 39 CarportEmpire.com / American Steel Carports Ford Fusion 22nd on the starting grid.
On race day, the team elected to partake in the final practice session of the weekend allowing Skinner to draft, giving him a small preview of what would be in store for later in the day.
43 cars took the green flag with the 26-year old fiercely wanting to find his way towards the front. By lap five, Skinner had moved into the top-20 with his sights on following fellow Ford driver Will Kimmel through the field. Just ahead of him, Milka Duno went for a ride through the frontstretch causing the yellow flag to waive.
Under the caution, Gosselin elected to bring his driver to pit road to top off the fuel tank. With the field restarted on lap 13, Skinner locked the 24th position but wouldn’t stay there long.
Another quick yellow would ensue offering the opportunity for others to pit which would shoot Skinner up to 14th on the leaderboard when the green flag waived on lap 17.
13 laps later, Skinner would inch closer towards the top-10 hovering in the 11th position.
The leaders encountered lapped traffic on lap 47 with Skinner slicing and dicing his way through the pack and made a nice save after making contact with the No. 00 of Ed Kennedy. Skinner though would throttle his way through the crowded pack to find himself inside the top-10 by lap 60 where he remained until the yellow flag waived again for a multi-car incident.
Gosselin informed his driver that he had to bring the No. 39 CarportEmpire.com / American Steel Carports Ford Fusion to pit road to ensure that they would have enough Sunoco fuel to make it to the checkered flag.
Restarting 16th on lap 75, Skinner would begin his move back towards the top-10 but would be stalled again on lap 78 when Chris Buescher went for a spin setting up a green-white-checkered finish.
Intense side-by-side racing would see Skinner float inside the top-20 coming to the white flag. As the field thundered out of turn four, both leaders nearly simultaneously ran out of gas forcing a majority of the lead pack to take abrasive maneuvers to avoid an initial collision but it allowed the Chevrolets of Bobby Gerhart and Drew Charlson to make a bold move to the outside to take the checkered flag first and second. Behind them, contact from the chaos unraveled with Skinner being collected in the wreck and initially crossing the line 18th. Three drivers ahead of Skinner though were penalized for passing below the yellow line which raised him to 15th in the final race rundown.
“We had a real good day in the No. 39 CarportEmpire.com / American Steel Carports Ford Fusion until the final lap,” said Skinner. “I was just biding my time and keeping our car clean. It took us a while, but we were able to work our way into the top-10. We had to pit for fuel there near the end and I was doing everything I could to get back there (to the top-10) but it got really crazy with everyone running out of field and it was just utter chaos.
I really don’t know happened with the wreck, I thought I made it through it and I was clobbered from someone in the right rear. I guess it could have been worse, I just really would have liked to finish unscathed.”
Despite the incident, Skinner still posted a solid finish in his inaugural ARCA debut which opens the door to potentially more races down the road. “I think we’re going to try and go to Talladega,” he noted. “I can use as much drafting experience as I possibly can get and Talladega would definitely add to what I learned here in Daytona.”
He concluded by saying, “I want to thank CarportEmpire.com, American Steel Carports, RimrockFlooring.com and CSBdirect.com for making my ARCA debut possible and the entire DGM Racing team for their efforts over the past few weeks and at the track this weekend. I had a lot of fun.”
Further details on Skinner’s 2012 racing program will be announced soon.
Additional input on Carport Empire is available by logging onto carportempire.com and through its Social Media networks of Twitter @carport_empire and Facebook.
Check out Fain Skinner online at Fainskinner.com.
PHOTO CAPTION: Fain Skinner, driver of the No. 39 CarportEmpire.com / American Steel Carports / Rimrock Flooring.com / CSBdirect.com Ford Fusion in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards for DGM Racing.
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NAME: Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management