With a series of late race cautions in the last 40 laps of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. gained nine positions to score his second top-10 finish in the past three races.
“All weekend we definitely didn’t think we had a top-10 car but we didn’t give up,” Stenhouse said. “Everybody on this Fastenal team worked really hard and we caught some breaks at the right time and the right lane on restarts at the right times. We made it work. It was a hot one out there. It was a lot of fun though. When the sun was out I thought our car was better than when there was cloud cover. I think that we have some more to work to do, and I think we know where we can make up some time. We will come back and hopefully be a little bit better next time.”
After struggling with handling in practice on Friday, the two-time XFINITY champion advanced to the second round of qualifying earning a 22nd – place starting position. Stenhouse quickly maneuvered his Fastenal Ford inside the top-20 where he remained for the remainder of the 301-lap race.
After going a lap down due to a long green flag run, the Olive Branch, Miss. native took the wave around to get back on the lead lap in hopes of a quick caution before he needed to pit for fuel.
The much needed caution came with less than 40 laps remaining allowing Stenhouse to come to pit-road for four fresh Goodyear tires and fuel.
After a flurry of late race cautions, the 2013 NSCS Rookie of the Year worked his way up inside the top-10 for the closing laps where he remained taking the checkered flag in the 10th position.