Even though it wasn't a major race weekend at Daytona International Speedway, national media still flock to "The World Center of Racing."
A crew from CBS News Sunday Morning and national correspondent Tracy Smith visited DIS on Monday with NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Mike Skinner and his wife Angie.
Smith's visit was highlighted by a ride-along in a Richard Petty Driving Experience race car with Skinner, who is the current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship points leader.
The RPDE car was outfitted with cameras and the footage will be used in a segment about why NASCAR is appealing to women on CBS News Sunday Morning on May 13.
During Smith's ride, Skinner, who has previously won a Gatorade Duel At Daytona qualifying race and a Budweiser Shootout qualifier at Daytona, stopped his car along the steep 31-degree high banks of "The World Center of Racing."
"What was cool was that he brought me up on the banking and slowed it way down and told me how it almost feels as if you're going to topple over," Smith said. "He picked up speed and talked about how if you are going through there at a clip, you feel like you are hugging the track."
"All the things that he has to keep straight in his mind, the mere fact that he is speeding along at 190 mph alone is intimidating enough and we were the only car out there," Smith continued. "Normally there are a few others out there too. I have a tremendous respect for what these guys do."
"Anybody that I've talked to that has done the Richard Petty Driving Experience has always come back and said, 'Man, I have a new found respect for the drivers,' Skinner said. "With 42 other guys out there doing that with fenders banging and smoke rolling off the tires, it's a whole lot more intense then what that was but it gives them an idea of what's going on out there."
CBS News Sunday Morning premiered in 1979. Original host Charles Kuralt hosted the program until 1994, when he was replaced by Charles Osgood. Sunday Morning is considered one of television's highest-quality news shows and has been described as a "Sunday newspaper in a (television) tube."
Mike and Angie Skinner are having a great racing season. Angie has just recently released her latest book "Race Day Grub" while Mike has three wins, two poles and is leading the point standings.
"Our season is just phenomenal," said Skinner, who was the inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion. "We're not doing anything different than in the past couple of years. Our performance is the same as it has been. We're just getting fortunate enough to finish these races and get to the last lap. A time or two, we had the caution come out, it probably helped us win the race. If you watch over the past couple of years that caution coming out has helped me lose six or seven races a year.
"To win three races this early in the season, my goal was to win three races all year so we've already accomplished our goals as far as wins go. Now we have to keep our head on our shoulders, race smart and get top fives and top 10 and hopefully we can be position to win another race or two before the year is out."
The next stock car action scheduled for Daytona International Speedway is the July 5-7 Pepsi 400 Weekend. Tickets are available online at www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
For Richard Petty Driving Experience schedule and information, please check www.DAYTONAUSA.com or www.1800bepetty.com.