BES: Greenville-Pickens: Kip Stockwell preview

Kip Stockwell Ready For NASCAR Busch East Series Season (Greenville, S.C. - June 9 2006) - Twenty hours from home by car, Kip Stockwell stood in his hauler parked in the infield of the Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina and declared...

Kip Stockwell Ready For NASCAR Busch East Series Season

(Greenville, S.C. - June 9 2006) - Twenty hours from home by car, Kip Stockwell stood in his hauler parked in the infield of the Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina and declared he was looking forward to a good season in the newly-renamed NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series.

Stockwell, of Braintree, Vermont, has two race cars ready to go at the start of the season. This is the first time he's had that luxury.

"The car we have here is the one that we wrecked at Thompson, and we rebuilt it over the last five weeks," he said of his baby blue No. 16 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. "It was at Jeff Taylor's shop, Distance Race Cars, and it got a new front clip put on there. Basically this car here is totally different because we changed it over and put it on an eighty-pound diet. We've put some weight in it and so far it's been pretty good."

Stockwell's other car, which was quickly pressed into service to run the Toyota All-Star Showdown at the end of last season, was rebuilt and rebodied over the winter and will be available to race if the primary car has problems during the season.

"We've got it so we can race it if we have to this summer. It's a couple days away from racing, it still needs brakes and a seat, but for the most part we can have it ready to race in a couple days," he explained.

Stockwell's first laps of 2006 were encouraging. He set the eighteenth fastest time of 31 cars practicing for Saturday night's "An American Revolution 150" at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway's half-mile oval, and did so despite not taking many laps.

"We didn't run a lot today, we just wanted to get the car on the track and check things out because we haven't been anywhere with it," he said. "We had new tires on but they were from California. One tire had forty laps on it and the rest were brand new. We just went out, made a few laps to shake it down and make sure the thing turned left, and it turned left really well.

"We can get some stuff done to the car when we come in tomorrow morning, get a fresh battery in it, and we'll change a couple of springs and I think we'll be in really good shape. We'll bolt on some really fresh tires and I think we'll be in good shape."

After the race at Greenville-Pickens, Stockwell and the tour will set out on the Busch East schedule that encompasses eleven races in six states. He's ready for the challenge.

"We have no sponsor so we'll go race-to-race like we've done every year so far," he said. "Our plan right now is to run the full year, qualify to run the Showdown in California and do that over again. That's what we're geared up for, that's the commitment we made to ourselves as a team. As long as we don't have a major problem right in the beginning of the year we'll be in pretty good shape."

Off the track, Stockwell and his wife have something else to look forward to.

"Amanda is pregnant. We're due in November," he smiled. The new arrival will be a little brother or sister to Cam, who was born in January 2004.

-ajc-

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