Kip Stockwell Eighteenth At NHIS With New Handling Package (Loudon, N.H. - July 15, 2005) - Even a driver who's got the second-longest consecutive start streak in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series has new tricks to learn at...
Kip Stockwell Eighteenth At NHIS With New Handling Package
(Loudon, N.H. - July 15, 2005) - Even a driver who's got the second-longest consecutive start streak in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series has new tricks to learn at the track that's hosted the series more than any other. Kip Stockwell, whose best finish at the 1.058-mile New Hampshire International Speedway was eleventh, came to the track for this Friday's New England 125 with a new spring package underneath his No. 16 Sabil & Sons Chevrolet. The result was an eighteenth place finish.
Stockwell put in a stiffer setup than he's previously run at NHIS for this weekend's race, and spent two hours of practice acclimating himself to it as well as gearing up for qualifying. He never got a chance to run time trials as thunderstorms showed up after practice, leaving Stockwell to start fifteenth, his position in the 2005 points standings.
The first opportunity in the race to work on the car came under a lap 17 caution, when Stockwell joined most of the field on pit road for gas and adjustments. He returned to the race in 23rd place, but pitted a second time under the next caution for more work, restarting near the tail of the field. He was 21st when caution came out on lap 61 of 125 and this time he got two new right-side tires, setting him up for the end of the race in the top twenty.
Seventeenth when the race restarted for the final time on lap 88, Stockwell had hopes of a lead lap finish to go along with a top-twenty, but he was lapped by leader Mike Stefanik with just ten laps left to run. Still, he finished eighteenth, significantly better than either of his NHIS races from last year and allowed him to pick up a spot in the season points standings to fourteenth.
"We put a spring package that I've never run before in the car," he said after the race. "With what we had, I thought we would have been really free. But we were so tight that we over-heated the right front tire, it was a lot hotter than the right rear. We needed more left rear spring because the car lays over on the left rear spring to get so much bite up off the turn, and it takes all the weight off the right front tire, and the right front tire can't work after that. I was wary of running that spring package because I've never run a car so stiff before."
Stockwell is looking forward to next week's race, the Town Fair Tire 150 at the Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl, a track he's had his best recent runs at.
"I'm going to a place next week that I really enjoy," he said. "We're working on the best start we've had in four or five years now as far as points and finishes, and I think we're getting closer. We just need to keep working. I'm really looking forward to next week more than anything. We're going to take a couple days off and go camping, then we'll unload the trailer on Monday and start getting ready for Waterford. Waterford is so much like Thunder Road that if we get it this close, we'll be in pretty good shape. It should be a good race for us."