As the sun set over the beautiful Arizona desert, Rip Michels reflected on the day’s accomplishment. The Stock Building Supply/Ladco Racing/Victory Circle Chevrolet ended up with an 8th place finish in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Southwest Division at Phoenix International Raceway.
The team’s main goal was to qualify in the top 20 and finish in the top 10. Rip qualified his Chevrolet in the 9th position with a lap time of 28.002. During the race Rip had made his way up to the 5th position with a two-second lead over the 6th place car. Unfortunately, Rip had some problems with lap traffic that caused his two-second lead over 6th place to fade, which resulted in Rip losing three positions.
“It seemed like a lifetime ago when we came here for the first time in January. It was the first race of the season as a rookie,” said Rip. “We were a rookie team with a rookie driver, and it showed. We qualified 41st and had to come through the b-main for the final transfer position. We started dead last on the grid and ended up 31st, 4 laps down. We felt that we would be better coming back to PIR this time around. It was a good test to show how far we had come as a team, we as a team are very pleased with our 8th place performance,” commented Rip. “My inexperience on how to pass on this track really caused us a problem. I had two lap cars battling side by side and just could not figure out a way to pass them. Late in the race it cost us a few positions,” said Rip.
“This season our team has really come together,” said Boyd “Chip” Brown Jr., Shop Foreman, “Everyone has really worked hard to get our program to where it is today,” commented Chip.
Rip was the leading rookie of the race for the 7th time this season and currently leads the rookie point standings with 104 points.
For more information on Rip Michels and his sponsors, please visit www.ripmichels.com