Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Victory, early-season success help redefine Ricky Stenhouse Jr

Victory, early-season success help redefine Ricky Stenhouse Jr

That was finally proven on Sunday in Talladega as Stenhouse drove past Kyle Busch in the final lap, held off pushes from Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray and Busch to pull off his first victory at NASCAR's top level.

Stenhouse, who has led a resurgent Roush team, won in his 158th Cup start.

It's working. Stenhouse's average start (15.2) and average finish (14.1) are far and away better than his previous career-bests during a five-year career as a full-time Cup Series driver.

On the same lap that Busch gained the lead, No. 55 Reed Sorenson cut a tire and got into the wall, bringing out the second caution of the race. Kurt Busch, Keselowski, Johnson, Paul Menard, and David Ragan rounded out the top-10 finishers.

"His son wins the race, (so) he goes down, he tries to find a way to get across the track".

"I was really anxious that the caution was going to come out, especially when the 22 [of Logano] just barely got a nose ahead getting into Turn 3", Almirola said. After the race, his father Ricky Stenhouse Sr. was so excited to get to Victory Lane that he hopped a fence and was detained, winding up in the back of a squad vehicle. He and Jeff Gordon are tied for the second-most wins at the superspeedway, behind only Dale Earnhardt Sr. with 10.

"Everything that I know about racing I learned from him", said Stenhouse after the race.

Why James Mangold Thinks The 'Logan' Ending Is A Happy One
You could pretty much assume that everyone there had seen Logan once, if not several times and cried over that final scene. When asked if Mangold would like to see Keen return as X-23, he replied: "Anything's possible".

"He just apologized. I don't know that it was really his fault per se", Elliott said of Allmendinger. More than one competitor has remarked over the years that the former sprint auto standout couldn't acclimate to significantly longer races where conserving one's equipment and tires is paramount. "I mean, obviously, he qualified on the pole, but at the beginning of the race when he was leading (the first 13 laps), I was thinking he was either going to stay in the lead, or something bad might happen". He ranks 24th in the series standings following his slow start - 257 points behind leader Kyle Larson.

"It was just about retaliation to get back on him, and I just never had enough help from behind and just never got together".

Stenhouse started the race from the pole with a qualifying lap at 191.547 miles per hour. However, Busch was the only Toyota near the front on the final two restarts. "I haven't been able to finish, but this was a track I just wanted to survive at until we get to another race". He beat fellow Ford driver Stenhouse to win the segment.

Eventual race victor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was among the strongest drivers in the Ford camp, as were Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick.

Busch led three times for a race-high 48 laps during Sunday's superspeedway thriller, taking the first spot for the final time at Lap 152 - until Stenhouse swiped the lead on Lap 191. The massive wreck narrowed the list of contenders and for the 11th time, a driver scored their first Cup win at NASCAR's longest track. The stage win was his second of the season.

Next week the Monster Energy Series visits Kansas Speedway for the Go Bowling 400 on Saturday night.

Margin of Victory: 0.095 seconds. Stenhouse led several laps early but fell back to 18th as he attempted to get debris off his grille.

Like this: