Engine Problems Slow Kip Stockwell At Watkins Glen (Watkins Glen, N.Y. - August 14, 2004) - Kip Stockwell started out the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race weekend at Watkins Glen International at a disadvantage. With his...
Engine Problems Slow Kip Stockwell At Watkins Glen
(Watkins Glen, N.Y. - August 14, 2004) - Kip Stockwell started out the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race weekend at Watkins Glen International at a disadvantage. With his Sabil & Sons Towing and Service Pontiac Grand Prix powered by a 9:1 compression ratio engine, he knew he had an uphill battle to stay competitive against a field packed with the latest racing equipment and road-racing ringers. But he held his own in Saturday's Mohegan Sun 150 at the 2.45-mile road course, staying on the lead lap until just before the event's conclusion, when the engine turned sour and forced Stockwell to limp to the finish a lap down in twentieth place.
Stockwell got to spend a quiet morning at the track on Friday, as rain and fog prevented any on-track activity until late afternoon. Qualifying was cancelled and he was to start the race in eighteenth.
Down on power compared to the rest of the field, Stockwell fell to the rear but never became in danger of losing a lap to the leaders. A gas stop on lap 24 gave him the gas he needed to run to the end of the race, and he resumed, still deep in the field.
Stockwell was running nineteenth at the race's halfway point, though he fell to 26th shortly afterwards. Recovering to run 21st, Stockwell had to pit a second time to replace a tire that was going flat. Back on the track in nineteenth, Stockwell seemed set to finish the race without any major problems, but then the engine started running roughly with just a couple laps to go. Stockwell fell off the lead lap, but was recorded as finishing the race in the twentieth position.
"I had a good car on the racetrack, I just didn't have the horsepower," he said. "I missed a shift on the backstretch going from fourth to third before the Inner Loop and I thought I might have over-revved the engine, though I looked at the tach and it only went to 7400 RPM. I was trying to be easy on it, shifting at 7000 and watching the tach when we did shift. So I was pretty careful with it."
"That motor has got 140 million laps on it," the Braintree, Vermont native continued. "It's a little 9:1, and it ran really well when we had to go to it at Loudon, and we've run it in every race after Loudon. It's probably got close to 25 to 30 races on it, so I really enjoyed the day here. I think we ran here really well. I think the guys are pretty pumped up with how we did today. We were underpowered but we stayed on the lead lap for almost the whole race, until the last two laps, with a 9:1 engine. We're running against guys who spend big bucks on their speedway motors to come here and have all the big power."
Stockwell is already looking forward to the next race, which runs on a track that Stockwell's more comfortable on, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine.
"I hope with everything I've got that we can pick up the parts we need to get our other engine together so we can go to Beech Ridge," he said. "I'm really looking forward to Beech Ridge, I think it's one of those tracks that we can really do well at. With the other motor back together and the other car, we should be good. We've got a lot of work to do before we get there, but I'm looking forward to it."