Kip Stockwell Shakes Off Mid-Race Accident To Finish Motor Mile Thirteenth (Radford, Va. - Aug. 20, 2005) - Kip Stockwell, racing his No. 16 Sabil & Sons Service Chevrolet on the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series, participated...
Kip Stockwell Shakes Off Mid-Race Accident To Finish Motor Mile Thirteenth
(Radford, Va. - Aug. 20, 2005) - Kip Stockwell, racing his No. 16 Sabil & Sons Service Chevrolet on the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series, participated in the series debut at the Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia. He qualified eighteenth and finished thirteenth, but had to overcome a pair of incidents and several pit stops along the way.
Stockwell, along with the rest of the 29-car entry list, was seeing the .416-mile track for the first time.
"I love the track, I wish we had a place closer to home like this," the Braintree, Vermont driver said. "The banking's a lot like Thunder Road and it's got the same kind of feel to it. It's got more swoop in it, but it's got the same characteristics. You use a lot more motor on the straightaways, that's the big difference. And you slow down a lot more going into the corners because you're going a lot faster down the straights."
Following a pair of rain-interrupted practice sessions, qualifying got in and Stockwell qualified eighteenth fastest.
"The way this car's been all summer is that it's been sliding around pretty free when it's hot, but when it cools down at night we're in pretty good shape," he said. "That's what I'm banking on. We've got a good car, but I wish I had a little more gear."
Running eleventh on lap 56, Stockwell was trying to fend off Charles Lewandoski when he was hit from behind. Lewandoski's car climbed up Stockwell's left rear fender, leaving Stockwell's car damaged but still running.
"The 01 got into the back of me, hitting me square in the left rear and got me sideways, and he never lifted," he said. "He tried to go right through me. If he lifted, he'd have got another shot at me, but he didn't."
This incident brought Stockwell to pit road for the first of four stops during the balance of the event. The handling was affected by the accident damage so many chassis adjustments were tried to fix that. And late in the event, Stockwell got into Joe Masessa's car in turn two, sending both cars spinning with just fourteen laps to go.
"I hated to do that, he was doing well and running for position," he said. "I just drove it in so hard, washed up and hit him. I didn't mean to get into him and I feel bad about it, because he had a better car than where he finished. I've been in his spot and know what it's like to be taken out. I was trying to be real aggressive at the end and get what I could."
After the last ten laps of racing, Stockwell crossed under the checkers in thirteenth.
"Basically we were struggling," he explained. "At the beginning it wasn't too bad, but twenty-five laps in we were struggling hard. The accident with the 01 hurt us for the rest of the night. I don't know if we bent something in the rear end, but it felt funny after that. It was loose up off and we kept coming in to make adjustments to try and fix it. We finally got it better at the end, but then I got into a spin with the 09. We had a real good car at the end, but we got so loose up off that I couldn't drive it off the turn. It got worse as the night went on."
Next up for Stockwell is the series' return to Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine next Saturday night.