Kip Stockwell Suffers Engine Failure at NHIS (Loudon, N.H. - Sept. 20, 2004) - Kip Stockwell's season of engine problems continued in a serious way on Monday when the 12:1 engine in his Sabil & Sons Chevrolet failed during the running of the ...
Kip Stockwell Suffers Engine Failure at NHIS
(Loudon, N.H. - Sept. 20, 2004) - Kip Stockwell's season of engine problems continued in a serious way on Monday when the 12:1 engine in his Sabil & Sons Chevrolet failed during the running of the Sylvania 125, which was postponed from Saturday due to rain.
In Thursday's practice and qualifying, Stockwell was encouraged despite practicing on old tires. His qualifying effort didn't follow in line with his practice, though, and he could only muster the 32nd best time trial run.
"We were eighteenth fastest for most of the practice session and I thought we were in really good shape," he said. "We drifted back in those standings towards the end because other guys put on new tires and made some mock qualifying runs, while we didn't do that. I figured that when we put on stickers and went out for our qualifying run, that we'd go back to where we were in practice before those guys did that, somewhere around fifteenth to twentieth. But we went out and the car was all out of shape. It didn't feel right at all, so instead of putting it in the fence I just ran a couple of decent laps and brought it in.
"I think our mistake was that we went out on sticker tires, while we hadn't run on sticker tires all day so I didn't know what to expect," the Braintree, Vermont driver continued. "It didn't float in the corners like it did in practice. It varied between being tight and being loose and it didn't feel right, so I didn't push it. I know the car is good, because the car was good the last time we were here and it's got the same setup in it now. It was good with old tires today so I'm happy and looking forward to the race."
The car's handling woes continued in the race, which was supposed to be run on Saturday but was rained out and postponed to late Monday morning. At the start of the race, Stockwell had a loose car, and adjustments made during the lap 35 competition caution only partially fixed the problem.
"We struggled all day in the corners, the car was really loose in the center," he explained. "We've struggled with that since Thursday. You can't drive it in because as soon as you get to the center of the turn you're chasing it up the hill. I had to slow down more entering the turns so I wouldn't get loose in the center. We were really struggling with it all day. We had tightened it up a little bit with a couple of different things, and all we wanted to do was ride. We just wanted to run as many laps as we could and get to the finish so we could go home and get ready to go to Dover."
That strategy came to an end on lap 83 when the engine expired and Stockwell could only drive the car to the garage area to contemplate how he might get to run the final two races of the year, including racing at Dover International Speedway with practice beginning just a few short days away.
"We don't have another motor," he said. "We'll unload it tonight and see what happened and see what we can find. If something easy went bad, maybe we can fix it up and race again. It seems like we've had nothing but motor problems and that's really got us behind. We're running against teams that have four or five cars and four or five motors and the money to keep things freshened up, and we don't have that. We've done a good job of keeping the car itself fresh and ready to race through the year, but the motor stuff is killing us. This is the fourth race in a row where we've had motor problems, and you can't overcome that."