ALL-PRO RANDY MOSS KICKS OFF NFL SEASON AS HIS NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES TEAM CHARGES INTO FINAL STRETCH WITH ANOTHER WIN
AFTER ONE YEAR, RANDY MOSS MOTORSPORTS HAS
FORMER CHAMP IN TOP FIVE AND ROOKIE EYEING TOP 10
Moss: “I had no doubt when I partnered with David that we would see success on the track. I just didn’t realize it would come this quick.”
Skinner: “I think this team has the potential … to raise the bar higher than what KHI has been able to do.”
While NFL All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss hits the gridiron for the New England Patriots’ season opener against the Buffalo Bills next Monday, his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team scored a touchdown of their own last weekend and are making a case for the Most Improved award this year.
Just a couple of months removed from its one year-mark in NASCAR, Randy Moss Motorsports has made huge strides, scoring two NCWTS wins with driver Mike Skinner, including last weekend at Iowa, where standout rookie teammate Tayler Malsam also faired well. Heading into Saturday’s race at Gateway (2:30 p.m. ET on SPEED™; NCWTS Setup with Krista Voda at 2 p.m ET), Skinner sits third in points and Malsam 11th.
“You always want to be successful in anything that you do,” Moss said. “Both our wins were just awesome. Considering we didn’t get everything pulled together until a couple of weeks before Daytona and with the limited resources we have in sponsors, it just shows the determination and dedication of everyone at Randy Moss Motorsports. Those guys put in so much hard work at the shop and I’m so proud of them. With football season now in full swing, I most likely won’t be able to make another race this year but I’ll be cheering them on from wherever I am at.”
The team’s rapid accomplishments have surprised even a seasoned veteran such as Skinner, 1995 NCWTS champion.
“I didn’t have any idea that we’d win a race, first of all, and sitting in the top five in points has been spectacular,” said Skinner, driver of the No. 5 PC*Miler Navigator Toyota. “The fact we don’t have more top-five finishes might be a product of the situation we’re in. I’m more careful about not tearing stuff up and I settle for second instead of always going for the win and possibly wrecking just because we don’t have an abundance of trucks yet.”
That “situation” was RMM’s manufacturer switchover during the off season, and with the added work came time and ground lost to the rest of the field.
“We don’t have the inventory that a lot of our competition has,” Skinner stated. “We had to change everything over to Toyotas over the winter and we’re still building stuff and doing it with a fourth of the money that other teams have. It’s a struggle but give these guys an A-plus for what they’ve done with what they’ve got to work with.”
When Moss takes the field at Gillette Stadium, he knows what plays to expect and how to execute them. But he came to NASCAR with an empty playbook.
“To me it’s (biggest surprise) been everything that it takes to get a truck ready to go race,” Moss said. “There are so many little pieces to the big puzzle that it just amazes me. When I first came to the shop I was truly surprised by all it takes to put one of these trucks together. It’s more of a team sport than I thought before I got involved.”
Skinner’s team had an extra and unwelcome 12th man on the field earlier this year – misfortune. The California native was involved in a violent accident while leading at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the same car with which he won at Kansas Speedway.
“Bad luck has played a huge role because we had a dominant truck at Charlotte,” Skinner recalled. “No one was going to beat us. We were leading and a truck we were about to lap knocked us out of the race. That was a devastating wreck that knocked the wind out of our sails but these guys just keep digging and working hard.”
Also working hard this season is Skinner’s rookie teammate. Malsam, who ran only two Truck races in 2008, is only 11 points out of 10th position with eight top-10 finishes, and says pairing up with the former champ has accelerated his learning curve.
“He (Skinner) has helped me on and off the track,” said Malsam, driver of the No. 81 One Eighty Toyota. “I can get out of the truck and go talk to him about what my truck is doing or his truck is doing and he’ll help me out. He has been a big help this year.”
Moss also is pleased with Skinner’s coaching role.
“Tayler has not been to a lot of these tracks and Mike has tons of experience on each of them,” Moss explained. “Mike is able to give Tayler the basic knowledge as far as race lines and what to expect out of the truck. Tayler is a very talented driver and has proven that throughout the year. He’s able to hold his own but with the little bit of input from a veteran and champion like Mike, I think the sky is the limit for Tayler.”
As for Skinner, he says he’d settle for another win and a top-five points finish.
“Would that satisfy us?” Skinner questioned. “No. You’re never pleased with anything but first but it would definitely be an acceptable year given the cards we’ve been dealt. I think this team has the potential if we can get some potential backing and give us another year or so, got potential to raise the bar higher than what KHI has been able to do.”
SPEED, now in more than 79 million homes in North America, is the exclusive home of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Gatorade Duel at Daytona, NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The only network delivering live, at-track programming all season long, SPEED offers the definitive pre- and post-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series programs – NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Victory Lane, as well as other popular NASCAR programs including Trackside Live, NASCAR Performance, NASCAR Live!, This Week in NASCAR, NCWTS Setup and NASCAR in a Hurry.