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Skinner goes from pole to back of pack

Associated Press
Published September 6, 2003

RICHMOND, Va. - Mike Skinner made a surprising comeback after crashing in Chevy Rock & Roll 400 practice Friday and got his sixth career Winston Cup pole in a backup car at Richmond International Raceway.

The recovery was dramatic for Skinner, who called his run "a little bit of fuel for the soul." But it was short-lived. After winning the pole with a lap at 125.792 mph, his Pontiac went through some oil on the track in another practice session and slammed into the wall.

The team, which has used several drivers since Jerry Nadeau was seriously injured in a May practice crash, summoned a second backup car from Charlotte, N.C. Skinner will start at the back of the field tonight.

COMPLAINT DROPPED: Kurt Busch dropped his assault complaint against rival Jimmy Spencer, who punched him in the face last month at Michigan International Speedway.

FUNAI 250: Johnny Sauter bumped Matt Kenseth into the wall and out of the way in the final turn at Richmond, ending a wild seven-lap shootout and gaining his second career Busch series victory. Kenseth had passed Sauter about two laps from the end coming out of a restart. Kenseth finished sixth.

DELPHI INDY 300: After breaking his right leg and pelvis in a July 6 crash at the Kansas 300, Felipe Giaffone is back. He was sixth fastest in practice for the IRL's IndyCar race, doing 222.536 mph at Chicagoland Speedway. Tomas Scheckter turned in the fastest practice lap, running 223.810.

U.S. NATIONALS: John Force, seeking the 116h top qualifying spot of his NHRA career, was the fastest of the Funny Car drivers in Clermont, Ind., 4.759 seconds at 307.72 mph. David Baca (Top Fuel), Kurt Johnson (Pro Stock) and Angelle Savoie (Pro Stock Bike) led in their divisions.

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