|SOURCE: Rob Dostie|
It was Skinner’s fourth Cup last-place finish of 2011 and his first since the inaugural Quaker State 400 at Kentucky, four races ago.
On Saturday, Skinner qualified 37th at a speed of 122.130 mph, putting him into his first start at Watkins Glen since 2002, when he finished 40th in Morgan-McClure’s iconic #4 Kodak Chevrolet. Germain Racing, Skinner’s present team, was already struggling at The Glen after teammate Casey Mears’ #13 blew an engine in spectacular fashion on the frontstretch during Friday’s first practice session. However, when qualifying was over, both Mears and Skinner were in the field with Mears a respectable 26th.
In the race itself, Skinner and defending LASTCAR Cup Champion Joe Nemechek exchanged the 43rd position along with Kurt Busch, who spun in the Inner Loop on Lap 5. By then, however, Skinner was already behind the wall with brake troubles, followed the next lap by J.J. Yeley in Front Row Motorsports’ “start-and-park” #55. Current LASTCAR leader Michael McDowell fell out two circuits after that with Nemechek exiting after 12 laps.
Casey Mears finished on the lead lap in 20th.
*A Cup driver had not finished last at Watkins Glen with “brakes” listed as the official cause in the results since way back in 1964, when Pete Boland’s 1963 #01 Mercury lost its brakes two laps into the 1964 The Glen 151.8, leaving Boland with his second-consecutive last-place finish. Billy Wade went on to win the race from the pole in what was then a 66-lap event around a 2.3-mile course.
*This is the first time Skinner and the #60 have both finished last in a Cup race at Watkins Glen.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #60-Mike Skinner / 4 laps / brakes
42) #55-J.J. Yeley / 5 laps / brakes
41) #66-Michael McDowell / 7 laps / engine
40) #87-Joe Nemechek / 12 laps / brakes
39) #37-Scott Speed / 45 laps / suspension
LASTCAR CUP SERIES DRIVER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Michael McDowell (5)
2nd) Mike Skinner (4)
3rd) Joe Nemechek, J.J. Yeley (3)
4th) Kevin Conway (2)
5th) Landon Cassill, Robby Gordon, Jeff Green, P.J. Jones, Scott Riggs (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES OWNER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
When combined with Landon Cassill’s last-place performance for the team at Phoenix in February, the #60 Germain Racing Team is now in a tie with HP Racing’s #66 for the LASTCAR Owner’s Championship lead.
1st) #60-Germain Racing, #66-HP Racing LLC (5)
2nd) #87-NEMCO Motorsports (3)
3rd) #46-Whitney Motorsports, #55-Front Row Motorsports, #97-NEMCO Motorsports (2)
4th) #7-Robby Gordon Motorsports, #81-Whitney Motorsports, #77-Robby Gordon Motorsports (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES MANUFACTURER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Toyota (15)
2nd) Chevrolet (3)
3rd) Dodge, Ford (2)