Kip Stockwell Encouraged Despite 29th Place NHIS Finish (Loudon, N.H. - July 24, 2004) - It's unusual to hear race car drivers say they're happy when they finish 29th, but Kip Stockwell saw the silver lining that presented itself during the ...
Kip Stockwell Encouraged Despite 29th Place NHIS Finish
(Loudon, N.H. - July 24, 2004) - It's unusual to hear race car drivers say they're happy when they finish 29th, but Kip Stockwell saw the silver lining that presented itself during the running of the Siemens 125, the ninth NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season, held at the 1.058-mile New Hampshire International Speedway.
Engine troubles kept Stockwell from making but a few laps the week before at the Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl, and forced the Sabil & Sons Towing and Service team to put the 9:1 engine from last year into their oval-track Chevrolet to go into battle against engines with 12:1 compression ratios. Stockwell expected to be down on speed, and that proved to be true in qualifying where he was 31st fastest.
"We worked an awful lot of hours in the shop before coming here," he said. "We took one motor out of one car and put it in this car, and it's a 9:1 motor. It's costing us a lot of speed down the straightaways. We're holding our own in the corners, but others are driving in a lot harder getting into them because they're carrying a lot more speed down the straightaways. That's something we can't overcome. All my guys worked too hard this summer to stay home this weekend. With a few more hours of work we got here with the best thing we've got, and that's what we'll have to live with."
Despite the lack of horsepower, Stockwell hung in the race fairly well and even stayed on the lead lap well past the halfway mark. He pitted twice for adjustments, but was back to twentieth in line for the lap 63 restart. But things took a turn for the worse when a loose radiator cap allowed all the water to run out of the cooling system, and Stockwell had to bring the car behind the wall for a quick repair. He returned shortly, and ran to the finish in 29th, fifteen laps down. But despite the problem forcing the team to lose laps in the garage area, Stockwell saw signs to remain optimistic.
"I'm happy because our little 9:1 engine kept up with a lot of 12:1s out there," he said. "We were really good in the turns and I was really happy with the way the car drove, it was the best driving car I've ever had here. We made some big changes on Thursday to get there, but those changes were awesome.
"I didn't tighten down the radiator cap and the car dumped all the water out of it on one of the restarts," Stockwell continued. "It's my fault, and I'm upset with myself. But I'm happy for the guys because they needed a good run. Even though we finished 29th, we still had a positive run. The car was awesome, and these guys worked their tails off for two weeks to get us here. We came here, had a good time, and it's too bad that it ended up the way that it did, because I think we had a fifteenth place car even with the 9:1 motor. We were still on the lead lap when we had to come in. I was really happy with the car, I think we were as good as anybody in the turns. We got our butt kicked going down the straightaway, but once we got into the turns, I think we were just as good as anybody and a lot better than a lot of guys."
Stockwell is now looking forward to getting back to a short track, and will get that opportunity next Saturday night at Adirondack International Speedway.
"We're going to Adirondack with the car just the way it is," he said. "We'll take it back to the shop and clean it up, and I hope to load it up to leave early in the week so we can have some time off. Tomorrow's a day off for everybody, so that'll be sweet for everyone. After what we've learned this weekend with this car, I'm extremely excited to make that trip out to Adirondack. Even though we've got the 9:1 engine, I think we can keep up there. It's a momentum racetrack, and if we can get the car to turn like it did today, I think we're going to be in great shape."
For more information, visit www.kipstockwell.com.