BNS: Stafford II: Kip Stockwell race notes

Kip Stockwell Scores Second Top Ten Of 2005 At Stafford (Stafford Springs, Conn. - Aug. 10, 2005) - Kip Stockwell now has two top-tens on the season in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series competition after scoring a tenth place ...

Kip Stockwell Scores Second Top Ten Of 2005 At Stafford

(Stafford Springs, Conn. - Aug. 10, 2005) - Kip Stockwell now has two top-tens on the season in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series competition after scoring a tenth place finish in Wednesday's TSI Harley-Davidson 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway. His previous top-ten was another tenth place run at Lake Erie Speedway in July.

Stockwell, driving the No. 16 Sabil & Sons/Randolph National Bank Chevrolet, started the race from the 21st place after a disappointing time trial run.

"I think the car's a lot better than where we qualified," he said. "It's a little loose. My assumption is that when it cools off, we're going to be a lot better. It seems that this is how our setups always work. When it's hot out, we're setting up more for the race than we are for qualifying. I'm happy because the car seems to be pretty good, it's reacting well and it's fairly comfortable. We're just a few tenths off from where we really want to be."

An accident at the start of the race allowed Stockwell to instantly move up to twelfth place, and he ran in the top fifteen through the first third of the race. Pit stops by some leaders moved him into the top ten, where he ran until he made his own stop under a lap 82 yellow to check on minor body damage sustained in the accident that brought out the caution.

Still on the lead lap as the race was winding down, Stockwell made another stop under a lap 115 caution and took on two new right-side tires, setting him up for the finish. He restarted outside the top ten, but in the final ten laps put on a charge that took him from thirteenth to tenth, equaling his best finish of the year and marking the first time since 2001 that he posted two top-tens in a season.

"I'm really happy with the way our car ran on the outside, because I was holding my own," he said. "I wasn't advancing a lot, but I could hold my own. On restarts, I didn't have to look for a spot to get in. There was one restart about a hundred laps in where most everybody got tires and we got up to eighth. At that point they had new tires, and I had no reason to screw them up trying to stay ahead of them. But they got me three-wide and I got beat up a little bit. I just worked my way back up towards the end, really driving the wheels off it. They had a good pit stop with thirty to go and I put the new tires to good use. I had a good enough car that I could sneak by everyone on the inside and get back up through.

It's our second top-ten of the year, and it's been a long time since we've been a top-ten team," Stockwell continued. "We need about an inch more to be where I want. We're as close as we've been in five or six years, and we need just a little bit more to step over the edge of what we need, and we can think about top-five finishes. I know I can drive, I can run that thing, we just need a little bit more to make it there."

Stockwell will race next in a week and a half when the Busch North Series makes its debut at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia. The ride down will provide Kip, wife Amanda and son Cam with some quality family time.

"It'll be just the three of us in the motorhome and it's going to be a good trip for us," he said. "Cam sits in the front seat with me and I let him drive. When we drove to Waterford he helped me drive, he came up and sat in my lap and played with the steering wheel while we were driving. Then we went to Adirondack and he drove a little bit. He's eighteen months old and we're getting him started driving already."

-bnsracing-

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