After running in the top-10 for a majority of the race, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his Zest Ford to a fifth-place finish in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Talladega Superspeedway after a late-race caution sent the race into overtime.
“Our Zest Ford was fast all weekend and qualified well,” Stenhouse said. “We lost some track position and it took us really all race to get it back, which was a struggle. We got in position there at the end. I really wanted to restart on the top. I thought if I could restart on the top we may have had a shot at winning the race, but being on the bottom our car wasn’t as good. I’m definitely thankful to get a top-5 out of it. It’s cool to see a Ford move on to the next round with Joey. It was a bummer for Brad, but, all in all, it was a really good weekend. We’ll try to keep gaining on it on these speedways.”
After advancing to round two of qualifying on Saturday, the Olive Branch, Miss. native started the 188-lap race in the sixth position. Stenhouse steadily worked his way forward and was in the lead when the first caution flag was displayed on lap 41.
While running in the top-five, the two-time NASCAR XFINITY champion came to pit-road for a scheduled green flag pit stop but a jack failure during the stop cost Stenhouse valuable track position.
With the help from his spotter Mike Herman, Stenhouse patiently navigated his way through the pack and was scored in the top-10 with 15 laps remaining.
After the final caution sent the race into overtime, Stenhouse lined up in the fifth position which he maintained when the checkered flag waved. With his solid fifth-place finish, the 2013 NSCS Rookie of the Year has scored two top-five and four top-10 finishes in seven career starts at the 2.66-mile track.