After earning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) pole award in 2013 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, , Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his Ford Ecoboost Ford to a 10th-place finish in Sunday’s Fold of Honors QuikTrip 500 and currently sits 13th place in the point standings.
“Our Ford EcoBoost Fusion was like I hoped it would be,” Stenhouse said. “Practice felt good and I was hoping that was going to correlate over to the race and we were exactly where we thought we would be. We weren’t real good for the first 10 laps of a run, but really good at the end of the run.
We lost some track position there getting to pit road with the No. 95. That’s two weeks in a row they’ve gotten us on pit road, so hopefully they won’t pit next to us next time. But, other than that, we lost some track position there, where I feel like we may have got a seventh or eighth-place finish out of it, but, all in all, I’m really happy with all the hard work that these guys put in. It’s only one weekend. I hope to get consistent with that and I’m looking forward to going to Vegas next week.”
After advancing to the final round of qualifying on Friday, the Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up in the fifth position and consistently ran in the top-10 for a majority of the 325-lap race.
With less than a 100 laps remaining in the race, the two-time XFINITY champion came to pit-road for a scheduled green flag pit-stop but the No. 95 machine was exiting his pit box at the same time causing Stenhouse to lose valuable track position on pit-road.
Despite the misfortune, Stenhouse was able to maneuver his Ford back inside the top-10 when the final caution flag waved sending the race into overtime setting up a green white checkered finish.
After the No. 4 and 48 machines pitted, crew chief Nick Sandler told the 2013 NSCS Rookie of the Year to take the wave around to get back on the lead lap since they would only be racing a couple of other cars with the same amount of laps on their tires.
Stenhouse Jr. took the final green flag in the 10th position and was able to hold on to take the checkered flag in 10th place earning his first top-10 finish of the 2016 NSCS season.