Kip Stockwell Records Top Ten Finish At Lake Erie Speedway (North East, Penn. - July 9, 2005) - Kip Stockwell ended a three-year top-ten drought in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series competition when he finished tenth in Saturday...
Kip Stockwell Records Top Ten Finish At Lake Erie Speedway
(North East, Penn. - July 9, 2005) - Kip Stockwell ended a three-year top-ten drought in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series competition when he finished tenth in Saturday night's Local Dodge Dealers 150 at Lake Erie Speedway in Pennsylvania.
Stockwell, of Braintree, Vermont, also won the $1,000 Powerade Power Move Of The Race award for advancing the most positions from the start of the race (he started 18th) to the finish.
That 18th place qualifying performance belied what the No. 16 Sabil & Sons Chevrolet was capable of during the race.
"We bought a set of right-side tires that didn't match up to the left-sides for practice," he said before the race, "and it made the car a little funky feeling so we changed it a little bit for qualifying. When we put on a matched set of four tires for qualifying it kind of hurt us. It skated the nose in the turns on both laps of qualifying, and it hadn't done that all day. We misjudged the tires, and it hurt us. I think we've got a good car, we just have to make it go now. We've changed some stuff, raised the track bar and took a little wedge out, and I think it's going to be better now."
The car certainly was better in the race. Stockwell quickly entered the top fifteen and pitted under a lap 65 caution for a chassis adjustment that improved things further. Back in the race, a long green flag run took the race well past halfway, as Stockwell followed Ryan Seaman looking for a way around him, and then having that turn into a three car battle that left one of the three cars spun.
"I got into Eddie MacDonald and spun him out, but that was just a racing thing," he said. "I wasn't watching him, I was watching Ryan on the inside. I figured Eddie was going to go right by, but the next thing you know I had run into him and he spun out, I felt terrible about it."
While Stockwell was trapped a lap down after a caution came out just three laps after he was passed by eventual winner Ryan Moore, there were only eight cars on the lead lap and Stockwell was among the first few cars one lap down. He was ninth on the restart, taking the green at the head of the inside lane, but never got a chance to get back on the lead lap. Still, finishing tenth was the best result he's had since July 6, 2002, when he was tenth at the Waterford Speedbowl.
"Our car was really good at the beginning, we just needed a little bit more somewhere," he said. "We made a pit stop that made our car a lot better at the end, and it worked. I wish we had a little more at the beginning, and maybe we wouldn't have gone down a lap. I was probably a little too patient in the middle of the race, and I should have tried to go on the outside to get around Ryan Seaman a lot earlier. I followed him forever, and I just couldn't get it to stick on the inside of him. I got into him once and got him a little sideways but that's not the way to race. I had to race him clean."
"Once I got to the outside of him I cruised on by," Stockwell continued. "My car was freer on the center and a little tighter off when running outside, as opposed to being tighter in the center and loose off running on the inside. It ran better on the outside, and I wish I hadn't waited so long to try it out there. But we got a top ten without beating the car up. I'm really happy to get a top ten, and I can't wait to go home and get ready for Loudon."
Fans that did not catch the live HDNet broadcast of the Lake Erie race will be able to see it on SpeedTV when it is rebroadcast on Saturday, July 23rd at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.
New Hampshire International Speedway hosts the next Busch North Series race this Friday, with the race being broadcast live on HDNet starting at 5:00 p.m., repeated on SpeedTV at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 29th.