Sunday, May 7, 2017

Stenhouse Wins at Talladega for First Career Victory

Originally written for CLNS Media.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday afternoon.

Stenhouse picked up his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory on Sunday, and the first for Roush-Fenway Racing in 101 races.  Stenhouse said he was happy to take Jack Roush back to victory lane.
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

“It’s cool to have Jack Roush back in victory lane,” Stenhouse said.  “We’ve been terrible for a long time; this year every race we’re getting better and better.  Just glad to see Jack smiling here in victory lane; he’s been wanting this for a long time.”

After a late accident, the race went into overtime.  Stenhouse was able to pass Kyle Busch on the final lap to get to victory lane.

Stenhouse said the victory was the culmination of a weekend where he had one of the fastest cars.

“This car was so fast today,” Stenhouse said.  “Qualifying on the pole…it’s been a long time since we started on the pole.  We knew Talladega was a good race track for us; it’s been a good one in the past.”

Busch led 48 laps on Sunday, but he came up just short of the victory and finished third.  Busch said he was a victim of the racing at Talladega.

“Stenhouse got a really good run and really good push…I just didn’t get enough help from behind,” Busch said.  “We did all we could here today, it’s all circumstantial to win these things.”

Jamie McMurray finished second on Sunday, but he had a shot to win late in the race.  On the final lap, McMurray split Jimmie Johnson and Busch to work his way to the front, but he ran out of time before he could reach Stenhouse.

McMurray said he thought he would get a bigger run on Stenhouse coming to the checkered flag.
“I thought [Stenhouse] was going to pull out a little further than he did,” McMurray said.  “It’s so circumstantial with who gets behind you and who doesn’t.”

“This has been a really good track for me, and I haven’t been able to finish here for the last couple years.”

Unofficial results:
1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2. Jamie McMurray
3. Kyle Busch
4. Aric Almirola
5. Kasey Kahne
6. Kurt Busch
7. Brad Keselowski
8. Jimmie Johnson
9. Paul Menard
10. David Ragan
11. Denny Hamlin
12. Kyle Larson
13. Ty Dillon
14. Clint Bowyer
15. Chris Buescher
16. Cole Whitt
17. Elliott Sadler
18. Matt DiBenedetto
19. Daniel Suarez
20. Gray Gaulding
21. Joey Gase
22. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
23. Kevin Harvick
24. Matt Kenseth
25. Ryan Newman
26. Brendan Gaughan
27. Corey LaJoie
28. Jeffrey Earnhardt
29. Landon Cassill
30. Chase Elliott
31. AJ Allmendinger
32. Joey Logano
33. Erik Jones
34. Michael McDowell
35. Martin Truex Jr.
36. Austin Dillon
37. Trevor Bayne
38. Danica Patrick
39. Ryan Blaney
40. Reed Sorenson

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

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