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Stenhouse Jr. wins Sunoco Rookie of the Year

Sunday, Nov 17 2959

Roush Fenway Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was awarded the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award for the 2013 season.

In his first full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Stenhouse posted three top-10 finishes in the final 11 races of the season and finished third at Talladega Superspeedway in October. He also captured the Coors Light Pole Award at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

His finished out the season 19th in points with an average finish of 18.9.

His girlfriend, Stewart-Haas Racing's Danica Patrick, was also in contention for the award.

Patrick started off strong at the Daytona 500 in February. She became the first woman to win the pole and finished eighth, but fell short the remainder of the season. 

But Stenhouse had two consecutive Nationwide Series titles before his first season in Cup. Patrick had one full Nationwide season and two part-time seasons.

Patrick, who ended the season 27th in the standings, said winning the award was a "long shot."

"That was going to be tough to compete with no matter who you are," Patrick said. "I struggled to compete for wins. It was going to be a huge accomplishment if I did it."

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