I took some time to clean the shooter rod assembly. This game requires a precision skill shot, and the shooter rod was very sticky and hard to adjust to the right tension.
So I took it all out, cleaned up some rust and gunk and now it plays much nicer.
The strategy, it seems, is to get the ball up towards the 4th (D) rollover. Then it will bounce around in the S-T-O-P drops. Then let it drain, shoot it up again and use the right flipper to align the lights for best being collected. If done properly you can quickly get to a double playfield with the timer stopped!