Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his Bryan Clauson Fastenal tribute Ford to a second-place finish after overcoming a two-lap deficit and a speeding penalty on pit road. The second-place finish tied his career best finish of second at Bristol in 2014.
“It wasn’t from a lack of hard work and being lucky a few times,” Stenhouse said. “We really wanted to get this Bryan Clauson tribute car in victory lane. It just wasn’t meant to be today. We made our car a lot faster throughout the race and came from two laps down to get back on the lead lap. We missed some wrecks and gave it all we had. I thought we were matching the No. 4 car there lap for lap, but he got away from us and we had to restart sixth there on that last restart, but it was an honor to drive this car.
“This place was pretty packed last night so thanks to all the fans and thanks to all the fans that were able to stay around. I thought the track was really good. You could run the bottom. You could run the top. We just wanted one more spot.”
After rain postponed the scheduled night race to Sunday afternoon, the two-time NASCAR XFINITY champion started from the 25th position but lost a few positions early on due to a loose handling Ford. During the competition caution on lap 85, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. brought his Fastenal Ford to pit road but was assessed a speeding penalty forcing the Olive Branch, Miss. native to restart at the tail end of the field.
With track position being valuable, Stenhouse ended up going two laps down to the leaders. With less than 200 laps remaining in the 500-lap race, the 2013 NSCS Rookie of the Year took the wave around in hopes of a quick caution and his wish was granted when the yellow flag was displayed 50 laps later and he was scored in the lucky dog position.
Back on the lead lap, Stenhouse Jr. worked the high line in true Bryan Clauson style maneuvering his Fastenal Ford into the top-10 with 100 laps remaining.
After restarting sixth on the final green flag restart, Stenhouse bullied his way forward picking up four positions in 15 laps on the half-mile track. The Roush Fenway Racing driver was running comparable lap times as the race leader, Kevin Harvick, before running out of laps and crossed the finish line second.