Mike Skinner, a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion and co-host of ‘Skinner Round-Up’ on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, will enter the IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis at Riverside International Speedway on July 23. Skinner will drive the popular Cat Car for Kids out of Antigonish’s Nova Racing stable as a teammate to 2016 IWK 250 champion Donald Chisholm and Russell Smith, Jr.

Skinner, originally from California, has more than 550 starts in NASCAR’s national series with a championship, 29 wins, and 59 pole awards to his credit. He is the inaugural winner of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, its inaugural champion, and the 1997 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year.

“This is really cool,” said Skinner. “It’s tough to go into someone else’s backyard and win. It’s a different car, different track, and different crew – you’ve got to learn how to speak their language to get the car just right. But I love a challenge. And I have been known to go to new places and do well. So we’re really looking forward to it and especially to meeting all of the great fans we’ve heard so much about.”

“We are thrilled to have Mike Skinner join us for the IWK 250 in the Cat Car for Kids,” said Joan Roué, manager of Riverside. “It’s so exciting for this event to return this year and even more exciting to have a NASCAR celebrity of Mike’s stature among us. We’re very thankful to him and his wife Angie for taking time from their busy schedules to travel to James River for the IWK 250 Super Race Weekend.”

Skinner started his racing career in the 70s in California. In 1983 he moved to North Carolina to pursue a career in NASCAR, working as a crew member in the NASCAR Cup Series until 1995 when he drove the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in the truck series. In 1997, he was promoted to the Cup Series by RCR. He won the Rookie of the Year title and went on to earn six pole awards and a pair of exhibition race wins over the next seven seasons. In 1999 he won a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In 2004, he returned to the NASCAR Truck Series accumulating several more wins and pole awards until his retirement from NASCAR national series competition in 2012.  

In 2013, he was inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame and since then continues to race along with co-hosting ‘Skinner Round Up’ with his wife Angie. Besides the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show, the Skinner’s have started a ‘Skinner Round Up’ YouTube channel covering their RV & racing travels. Mike Skinner competes on a vintage racing circuit that takes him to events around the world and holds the stock car hill climb record at the famed Goodwood Festival of Speed. Four years ago he jumped back into a pro late model built and crewed by his two sons, winning the inaugural Bristol Short Track Nationals. His most recent race was this past weekend at a dirt track in Alaska, and he won.

Fans will have a chance to meet Mike Skinner on Friday, July 22 at a Meet’N’Greet to be held prior to the evening racing card and on Saturday, July 23 during an autograph session with the entire starting lineup for the IWK 250.

Since its inception in 2007, IWK 250 celebrity drivers have included Aric Almirola, Marcus Ambrose, Matt Crafton, Ricky Craven, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Mark Martin, David Reutimann, Regan Smith, and Kenny Wallace. Only two have won the iconic race – Smith in 2008 and Wallace in 2018. The IWK 250 historically attracts top short track stock car racers from the Maritimes, and beyond. An expected entry list for this years IWK 250 should be available next week based on driver registrations which open this Wednesday.

Winning the IWK 250 is a highlight of any driver’s racing career. Not only do they take home the lion’s share of the purse but see their name etched on the revered John W. Chisholm Memorial Cup along with all the others who have won the ‘250’ at Riverside since its inception in 1977 – a who’s who list of short track legends. The Cup is a tribute to the founder of Riverside and co-founder of the IWK 250, the late John “Nova” Chisholm, making it even more special.

The IWK 250 Presented by Steve Lewis is the grand finale of the IWK 250 Super Race Weekend. On Thursday, July 21 fans will get a sneak peek of IWK 250 competitors in a late afternoon open practice followed by the popular IWK 250 Tailgate Party, this year featuring Cape Breton’s party band – High Society. On Friday, fans will be treated to a big night of racing with the Auto World Allstar Sportsman Series and the Cross Roads League of Legends. Saturday it’s all IWK 250 with practice at 11:30, qualifying races at 3:30 followed by the autograph session and opening ceremonies. Green flag for the main event is set for 7:30 p.m.

Single-day tickets and weekend passes for the IWK 250 Super Race Weekend will be available starting Wednesday at Noon. They can be purchased online at www.riversidespeedway.ca or by visiting our office in Antigonish at the Post Road Plaza (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Advance tickets are being offered at 2019 pricing and are available as general admission or reserved seating. General admission single-day tickets will be available at the gate on race days and will be $5 more than advance ticket pricing.

A very limited number of campsites remain in the regular camping sections (A,B,C,D,E). An overflow section is available for both RVs and tents. Reservations can be made online at www.riversidespeedway.ca. Advance reservations are required for all campers on the IWK 250 Super Race Weekend (no drive-ups).

The IWK 250 is a championship points race with the East Coast International Pro Stock Tour (PST), round seven of 12 for the 2022 campaign. Since its inception in 2007, the IWK 250 has helped raise awareness and more than $500,000 for the IWK Foundation.

Riverside Speedway opened in 1969 under the helm of Antigonish businessman John Chisholm. It was sold in 1989 and bought back by Mr. Chisholm late in 2005, rebuilt in 2006, and rebranded Riverside International Speedway. Still owned by the Chisholm family, the popular 1/3-mile high-banked asphalt oval has provided generations of race fans with some of the best stock car racing entertainment in North America for over 50 years.

Fans can keep up with Riverside news all year long by visiting www.RiversideSpeedway.ca, subscribing to the email newsletter, and following social media accounts on Facebook (riversidespeedwayns) and Twitter (Riverside_NS). 

About Riverside International Speedway:

For over 50 years, Riverside International Speedway has been recognized as a premiere stock racing facility in Canada. The 1/3-mile high-banked asphalt oval roars to action several times a year for special events. It is the home of the IWK 250 – widely known as the best stock-car race in Canada. Located in James River between New Glasgow and Antigonish the facility is easily accessible at exit 30 on Trans Canada Highway 104. For more information please visit www.riversidespeedway.ca or call 902-863-2410.