Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Mike Skinner


Mike Skinner stands near car at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung 500 at Texas Motot Speedway in Fort Worth, TX, April 2008.
Mike Skinner stands near car at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung 500 at Texas Motot Speedway in Fort Worth, TX, April 2008.
Rusty Jarrett/­Getty Images for NASCAR

­Many of today's professional stock car drivers grew up around racing. They went to the tracks on the weekends and started sneaking behind the wheel well before the age of 16. Mike Skinner, on the other hand, didn't even drive a car intended for racing until he was 19. But when he did, he immediately realized his love for the sport. Born and raised in California, he didn't have a lot of experience with racing on the caliber of NASCAR, but that didn't stop him from dreaming of a career on the track.

­Knowing that the serious racing career he wanted wouldn't flourish in California, Skinner moved to North Carolina to fo­llow his dream. Success didn't come right away though - it wasn't until 1986 that Skinner took his first NASCAR ride at the age of 28. Then, he waited and worked for another nine years, and in 1995 he went full-time with the No. 3 GM Goodwrench truck for the Richard Childress racing team.

His hard work and determination would pay off in the end. In the first season of the Craftsman Truck Series, he not only won the first race, but went on to win seven others, earning 17 top five finishes and 18 top 10 finishes that year. These powerful statistics made him the season champion on the Truck Series inaugural season. Soon after this great accomplishment, he would be named 1997's Rookie of the Year.

­Skinner spent the next few years switching between the Cup series in stock cars and the Craftsman Truck Series. In 2004, he joined the Bill Davis Racing team for the Truck Series and found a good fit. That year he had four top five finishes, nine top 10 finishes and ended 11th in points. In 2006, he found more success, finishing 19th and leading the series with eight poles. But in 2007, he returned to the cup series, driving the No. 31 car.

These days, Skinner serves as a veteran on the racetrack, finding success in his continued career with both the Cup series and NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series.

­


More to Explore