Kip Stockwell Fights Loose Car To Finish Fifteenth At Holland (Holland, N.Y. - June 25, 2005) - Kip Stockwell needed to finish a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race. Mechanical failures had taken him out of late 2004 races as...
Kip Stockwell Fights Loose Car To Finish Fifteenth At Holland
(Holland, N.Y. - June 25, 2005) - Kip Stockwell needed to finish a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race. Mechanical failures had taken him out of late 2004 races as well as the first race of the 2005 season. So as he strapped himself into his No. 16 Sabil & Sons Chevrolet for the second race of the year, held at Holland (N.Y.) International Speedway, he was aiming to finish all 150 laps. And the way the car was in practice, he thought it was capable of a top-ten finish
His race started from the sixteenth position after time trials.
"I was hoping for a little better than that," the Randolph, Vermont driver said. "I think we had the car, but it was just a little too free up off and I had to get out of the throttle just a little on both laps. But I think we're going to have something for the race. I made a couple changes to the car. I'm happy with the qualifying effort, but I'm not as happy as I thought as I was going to be. We've been gaining all day, so now we have to do a couple changes, put some water in it, and go."
Stockwell started out strongly, moving to eleventh after just a handful of laps of racing. But the car changed after the first restart and he fell back, eventually getting lapped by eventual winner Mike Stefanik. He ran as high as thirteenth after that, taking two restarts as the first car in the lap-down line, but gave up that track position to pit for a chassis adjustment under a lap 113 caution. The car was still loose, though, and Stockwell could only hang on as the race ended with him finishing 149 laps, in fifteenth position.
"We were feeling a lot better going into this race than we did coming out," he said. "The first ten laps were awesome. We screamed to the front. Then we had the first restart and I knew the car was good, I thought we had a car that was going to go awesome on the outside. But we got going and it seemed like somebody put a parachute on the back of the car. I got really really loose getting in, through the middle and off. I was turning right more than I was turning left. So we made a pit stop near the end and it helped, but we should have gone further to help it drive up off the turns.
"We're so close now, we felt the potential that the car has in it during practice," Stockwell continued. "I'm going to do a little more homework on my shocks and see if I can find something there. I'm happy with the car. We're more competitive than we were at any race last year. I'm happy with the car and everybody here is too, and we can build on this. It wasn't overnight that we got knocked out of contention, and it's not going to be overnight to get back to where we need to be in the top ten. I'm still capable of driving, we just have to get the right car underneath me and we can run like we should be."
Stockwell will enjoy the weekend away from racing next week to get married, and then will turn his attention to preparing for the next Busch North race at Lake Erie Speedway.