June 23, 2013
Stephen Cox's first weekend with the Mid-American Stock Car Series was a rough ride but it still produced a top ten finish.
The elite sportsman tour stopped at Jefferson Speedway just west of Milwaukee on Saturday night with 23 cars entered in the 50-lap event. Cox's pit crew had taken possession of the new Boschett Timepieces Chevy only the night before and the car had not yet been set up for competition.
“The crew worked super hard all day. It's no one's fault, just a timing thing,” Cox said. “They did everything they could to prep the car on pit road but they were starting from scratch. If it weren't for the crew's work we'd have had no chance at all.”
The ride height, cross weight, left side weight, caster, camber and stagger had to be set while working in the pits without the benefit of shop equipment, much of it by estimation rather than precise measurement. The team missed all but the final seven laps of practice. Cox said they treated their two-lap qualifying run as another practice session.
The team did manage to find a bit of speed, moving up to 16th on the charts in qualifications in spite of an extreme oversteer condition. When the green flag fell on the main event at 8 pm, the Boschett Timepieces car began moving through the field in an exciting race before a solid Jefferson Speedway crowd.
“We still weren't a threat to win. Not by a long shot. But we found a few tenths and were able to pass a handful of guys,” Cox continued. “I found a high groove way up on the banking that the car seemed to like. I could drive a little deeper and set the tail end out in a drift coming through Turn 4. It wasn't ideal, but as long as we managed tire temperatures we could turn consistent times.”
Thanks to mechanic Chris Gagne with support from Rick Tackman, Bob Gutknecht, Nelson Skinner and Ryan Gutknecht, the Boschett Timepieces car managed to stay on the lead lap and scored a surprising 9th place finish.
The team returns to action with the Mid-American Stock Car Series at the Howie Lettow Memorial at the Milwaukee Mile on July 8-9.