July 9, 2013
Consistent handling problems forced the Boschett Timepieces/Sopwith Motorsports stock car to the back of the field during practice and qualifying for the Swiss Colony Howie Lettow Memorial on Tuesday at the legendary Milwaukee Mile.
Twenty-four starting spots were guaranteed for the 30-lap event sanctioned by the Mid-American Stock Car Series, with 29 cars attempting to make the field. The Boschett crew fought a chronic oversteer condition throughout practice on Monday, making major changes to the sway bar, tire stagger and cross weight. The team picked up enough speed to qualify in 23rd position, placing the car safely in the field.
The series ultimately expanded the available spots to allow all entries to make the race and the event began after a slight rain delay on Tuesday afternoon. Driver Stephen Cox continued to struggle with a loose racecar early in the event, but found a bit of speed in the final laps.
“We thought the track might tighten up, so we decided to let the car run a little loose,” Cox said. “That dropped us to the rear early in the race, but we were able to make several late passes and get all of those positions back, plus a few more. It still wasn't a fast car by any means, but it was better. If it weren't for my crew I'm afraid we'd have had an even tougher day.”
Chris Gagne, Terry Nortrup, Russell Willingham and Rick Tackman, Jr. worked throughout the event to make the car quicker in every session. The Boschett car managed to go the distance, remain on the lead lap and score a hard-fought 22nd place finish. The car will go back to the shop for new gears and prepartion for the upcoming race at State Park Speedway in Wasau, Wisconsin on Thursday night.