Kip Stockwell Encouraged By Season-Best Eleventh Place Finish At Adirondack (Beaver Falls, N.Y. - July 31, 2004) - Randolph, Vermont's Kip Stockwell had his best result of the 2004 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season when...
Kip Stockwell Encouraged By Season-Best Eleventh Place Finish At Adirondack
(Beaver Falls, N.Y. - July 31, 2004) - Randolph, Vermont's Kip Stockwell had his best result of the 2004 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season when he finished eleventh in the Kinney Drugs 150 at the half-mile Adirondack International Speedway Saturday night.
Stockwell, still racing at a disadvantage by using a 9:1 compression ratio engine against a field of 12:1 engines, had his best result since he finished tenth at the Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl in July of 2002.
"I wanted a top ten so bad I could taste it," he said after the race. "The team itself needs a top ten, and we finished eleventh. I'm not going to complain, because the car was awesome."
During the two brief practice periods run between rain showers, Stockwell found his No. 16 Sabil & Son Service Chevrolet still suffering from the overheating problems that forced him behind the wall last Saturday at New Hampshire International Speedway. Trying different radiator caps and other remedies, and the car did not have a relapse of overheating during the race.
The showers forced qualifying to be cancelled, putting Stockwell nineteenth at the start.
Riding seventeenth after fifty laps, Stockwell made the first of two pit stops under a lap 56 caution. He restarted seventeenth, but started making forward progress, coming to thirteenth at the halfway point. With forty laps to go Stockwell was fifteenth, the last car on the lead lap, and made a second stop under a lap 123 caution. The balance of the race had a pair of yellows and other incidents, but Stockwell kept clean and continued moving up, crossing the finish line in eleventh.
"We were getting whipped at the end of the frontstretch," he said. "You're in the throttle pretty hard through there and they were beating me down. But we were up to eighth or ninth near the end, and I just couldn't do anything with them after that. I couldn't hold the car down far enough and stay in the momentum without getting the car really loose.
"The car was driving great through the corners," Stockwell continued. We made some extra pit stops, since there wasn't anybody behind us to lose spots to, so why not stop and try to make the car better. We were trying to get it so I could get down that frontstretch a little quicker, since the car gets really tight coming off turn four. I was really trying to keep the car really free so it would turn easy and get a lot of momentum and I wouldn't have to lift, and we kept making pit stops to help the car do that, and we got it so the car was going good."
After a few tough weeks, Stockwell is happy to have a good finish to lift the team's spirits heading into the season's final five races.
"I'm really happy for Sabil & Sons and everybody involved," he said. "We've had a rough couple of races leading up to tonight. When you get down a few races and it's really hard, you need good runs occasionally to make everyone feel better. This will carry over to Monday night and throughout the week until we load up to come to the track again. When you have a couple of weekends like we did at Waterford, and then at Loudon, we needed something like this to build on. I really think that the team deserves a couple of good finishes to finish up the year. I think this is one to start, but we need a good one at Beech Ridge, and we need a good one at Loudon. We're going to have our other motor ready for Loudon, and I'm really excited to go back there. The more we run, the more excited I get."
Stockwell and the rest of the Busch North Series gets a weekend off before returning to action at the 2.54-mile Watkins Glen road course on August 14th.