Skeen tops Trucks practices at Canada debut
August 30, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
Related: Full practice results
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario -- Road-racing specialist Mike Skeen swept leaderboard honors Friday in an open test day for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' first international race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Skeen, driving the No. 6 Chevrolet for Sharp-Gallaher Racing, turned a fast lap of 108.686 mph around the 2.459-mile road course in the second session. The 26-year-old Portsmouth, Va., native, scheduled to make his Truck Series debut in Sunday’s race, was slightly slower in the first practice, but still led the speed charts at 106.919 mph.
Skeen holds an impressive four-race win streak at the Canadian Tire track in sports-car racing. Still, he says he’s bracing for a new level of competition in his first NASCAR national series start.
“Certainly, anytime you have that much success at a track, you’re very comfortable with it, but this is a whole ‘nother world,” Skeen said. “I have very little time in stock cars and certainly not any around here. Learning where to push these trucks and not get them out of shape is big. That’ll be the biggest thing in the race is not pushing too much, burning stuff up too early and really just learning my competition.”
Max Papis, Miguel Paludo and Darrell Wallace Jr. completed the top five in the opening two-hour practice. Ryan Blaney, Paludo and Ty Dillon rounded out the first five in the second session, which clocked in at 2 1/2 hours.
Each practice session was slowed by two significant delays. The final practice was halted after John Wes Townley slammed his No. 7 Red Horse Racing Toyota into the tire barriers in Turn 3. He was treated and released at the track’s infield care center.
The first session was delayed 12 minutes by a brief rain shower. Though the trucks have a limited amount of rain tires on hand, NASCAR officials have opted against practicing in wet conditions unless there is a considerable chance that race conditions will also be wet.