BNS: Thompson: Kip Stockwell race notes

Kip Stockwell Fights Brake Problems to Post 23rd Place Thompson Finish (THOMPSON, CONN. - May 22, 2004) - Braintree, Vermont's Kip Stockwell is continuing to learn his new NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series car on the job early...

Kip Stockwell Fights Brake Problems to Post 23rd Place Thompson Finish

(THOMPSON, CONN. - May 22, 2004) - Braintree, Vermont's Kip Stockwell is continuing to learn his new NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series car on the job early in the 2004 season. The second race of this year's campaign produced some problems that were overcome, and some problems that will be addressed in the shop, as brake problems left the Sabil & Sons Towing Chevrolet 23rd at the end of the race.

Issues in tech kept Stockwell off the track for the first practice session, and, the driver admitted later, put the team behind for the rest of the afternoon. Unable to scuff a set of tires for qualifying, and other problems, contributed to his posting a disappointing 24th place time trial effort.

"It's been one of those days," he said. "The little things that make a race car go just didn't happen. We went out for qualifying and the steering wheel was upside down. You don't even notice it until you're on the racetrack, and once you're out there, you can't stop, you have to live with it. It's like walking with your left shoe on your right foot. Little things like that have been plaguing us all day. We're hoping the car's not as far off as it appears, and we can put something together for the race and stay out of trouble."

The early laps of the Pepsi Racing 150 were encouraging for the Stockwell Racing Team. He was up to twentieth place after fifteen laps but problems were arising. With his brake pedal being less and less effective, Stockwell pitted under the first caution and the crew went under the hood to try and fix the problem.

As the race went on, Stockwell continued, realizing that if he allowed the brakes to cool, he could use them for a number of laps before they faded again. He ran the rest of the race taking care of the equipment, picking off spots as he could on his way to a 23rd place finish.

"We had a good car at the beginning, and I was feeling pretty confident as we passed four or five cars," he said. "I was running down Fred Skaff, and I had a better car, but I lost the brakes. I had to slow down and finally I didn't have a pedal at all. At the first caution we got a chance to do a little work on it, but every ten laps or so the brakes would go bad. I could race it well for about ten laps, and it was a good, solid car all the way through the race. But every ten laps I had to be careful, and my left foot got sore from pumping up the brake pedal. This is one track you can't run without brakes. I could go fast for a while, but then I had to slow down."

Stockwell assessed the progress the team has made with the new car.

"I think the car has a lot of potential, but the team, including myself, needs to get a grip on it to realize that potential. Things are going to go our way soon and we're going to get a good finish. I have a lot of confidence in the car at this point, so I'm looking forward to going to Seekonk with it. Next week at Lime Rock we'll have the old car, which we've worked to make something of a road course car out of. I'm really looking forward to going to Lime Rock, then getting a weekend off and then going to Seekonk."

-ajc-

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