10/3/11 – An oil pump failure ended what could have been a top-5 run for Sopwith Motorsports at the Super Cup Stock Car Series championship event at Hickory Motor Speedway last weekend.
The LWR/Sopwith/Boschett Timepieces Monte Carlo qualified 12th in the Super Cup field and quickly moved up to 8th position in the opening laps of Saturday night's 100-lap race.
"The pit crew tightened the car up during practice and that really helped the car launch out of Turns 2 and 4," said driver Stephen Cox. "(Crew member) Rowdy McAllister made the right call. We gained about 3-tenths instantly. Brad Elter (team spotter), Ronnie and Brandan worked hard to get the seat refitted and the radio system repaired. So the car was comfortable and we gained a lot of time on the track. We had a really good car after that."
But the run ended early when a drive gear for the oil system failed, forcing the team to retire from the race and park the car for the night. The crew considered putting the car back in action later in the race but ultimately decided otherwise, preferring to take the car back to the shop to examine the engine for any damage.
"It's a shame because we had a car that could have finished in 6th or 7th place, and this was our very first outing as a team," Cox continued. "The crew worked really hard and our sponsors from Boschett Timepieces were here, too. Everyone deserved a better result than what we got."
McAllister said, "I'm just happy that we got faster all night. (Stephen) is getting confident in the racecar, and my main goal is to get faster all night long."
Sopwith Motorsports will return to the Super Cup series for a full season in 2012 with support from McGunegill Engine Performance and Boschett Timepieces.