You can teach old dogs new tricks. Former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Mike Skinner is now the poster-child for the age-old phrase. Skinner left the new dogs on the porch on Saturday to win the Pro Late Model version of the lid-lifter for the 2016, “The Red-Eye” at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida.
It was the second running of the Zack Donatti Memorial Pro Late Model 100. With big names like Daniel Keene Jr, Bubba Pollard, Mike Skinner and Brennan Poole starting up front, every fan in the stands could sense that this race was going to be a show to remember.
Keene and Pollard led the field to green the drivers raced into turn one. For Keene, it would be the only lap that he would run all evening, as his car slowed going down the backstretch on the second lap.
The former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran Skinner eventually wresteled the lead from Pollard and never looked back as Cole Anderson followed.
Anderson, who is part of the Anthony Campi Racing Development Program, would be commended on his ambitious, yet compelling driving style throughout the race. For him, everything was going right until he hit a glitch on lap 65.
“My radio got disconnected and I couldn’t hear anyone and I saw my crew waving, so I pulled down there. It sucks, but it happens.”
When asked if he thought he could have won if he didn’t come down pit road he replied, “I think I could have. I think I was better than Skinner. I really could get a better run off of turn two. It sucks we got put in the back, but we’ll get them next time.”
Skinner, the NASCAR Truck Series Champion, came out of retirement for this one race with a car put together by his family. He put on a show for all of the fans in attendance.
“We tried to really pace ourselves, but the No.97 (Cole Anderson) came up there and made it pretty clear that we weren’t going to be able to pace ourselves. We drove it as slow as we could drive it and stay in the front, and then when he caught me, he made me run it harder than I wanted to run it and I thought I was going to burn the right rear tire off of it. But, the old American Auto Chevrolet made it through there. If an old man can win one, anyone can.”
Pro Late Models
Zack Donatti Memorial 100
|15||36||Kevin Thomas Jr|
|20||5k||Daniel Keene Jr|
Story By: Allick Jorgensen, Correspondent, Speed51.com – Twitter: @AJorgensen24
Photo Credit: Speed51.com / Melissa Strahley