Randolph, Vermont native Kip Stockwell may have been battling an illness for the week leading up to Saturday's New Hampshire 125, a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race held at the one-mile New Hampshire International Speedway,...
Randolph, Vermont native Kip Stockwell may have been battling an illness for the week leading up to Saturday's New Hampshire 125, a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race held at the one-mile New Hampshire International Speedway, but he didn't show it as he ran the entire race, which went into overtime due to late cautions and the series' green-white-checker finish rule. Stockwell finished the race in the 24th position.
The Stockwell Racing Team Pontiac driver worked through a pair of practice sessions before qualifying, and felt he had a good handle for time trials. But another competitor oiled down the track shortly before he was to go out for his attempt, and that made the track slick for Stockwell's qualifying run. He wound up back in the 35th starting position.
"The car was good in practice, we turned the same times that we turned the last time we were here," he said. "That's what we wanted to do, since this place, in September, usually gets a little slower than it does in July. When we went for qualifying, Jack Sellers broke an oil line when he took off from pit road. We were third in line to go after that, and the track was really slick going into turn one. We lost a lot of time. I thought we had a fifteenth to twentieth place car in qualifying and we ended up thirty-fifth. We lost a lot in qualifying. But in the final practice the car was as good as it was Thursday in practice, and I think we've got a good car for the race."
Stockwell's race went well, though he went down a lap as the first stage of the race was run under green flag conditions without interruption. But after losing that one lap, he stayed one lap down and picked off positions as the race went on. Despite his still being under the weather, and, in the race's later stages, suffering from dehydration, Stockwell soldiered on through what became a 128-lap race to finish 24th.
"I've been sick all week, and the last fifty laps just dragged me down so I didn't have a lot left," he said after the race. "And I couldn't drink anything, because my stomach felt like it was on fire, so things just got worse as the race went on. The car pushed from the center out, so I couldn't do anything on restarts. We just finished with what we had. We had a twentieth-place finish, and we finished 24th. We're happy because the car's in one piece, and I can get some rest over the next couple of days and the guys can get the car ready for Dover.
"We'll go to Dover and ride around down there. We'll go down there and get the experience that we can, and do what we can do. We're looking forward to Stafford more than anything at this point, because I think we can run good at Stafford."