TALLADEGA, Al.— Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will start from the pole in Sunday’s Geico 500 from Talladega Superspeedway. Stenhouse Jr. was able to pick up two tenths of a second over his first round speed. Stenhouse Jr. posted the winning speed at 191.547 mph.
“It’ll be nice to lead the field to green here. The Fifth Third guys worked really, really hard on these cars. Like I said earlier, Jimmy Fennig has done a great job on these speedway cars. This is cool. Doug Yates builds awesome horsepower,” said Stenhouse Jr. “With his dad, Robert, not doing as well as we would like, it would be cool to dedicate this one to him and all the hard work that the engine shop does. Man, it’s a cool way to start the weekend. I’m ready to get to Sunday.:
This is his first pole of 2017. Stenhouse Jr. scored his last pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2013.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start from the second place position on Sunday. Earnhardt Jr. picked up one tenth of a second over his first round speed. This is also his first front row start at Talladega Superspeedway. Earnhardt, Jr. posted a speed of 190.780 mph to score the second place starting position.
"We would have loved to have got the pole. (Ricky) Stenhouse and those guys had a really fast car, so congratulations to them and Roush/Yates Engines and all those guys had great power. Pretty happy with our car. The Hendrick guys have been doing a great job. We always kind of come down here and find ourselves with an opportunity for the pole. Hopefully, we will get one before the year is out at one of these plate tracks. I know the guys have been so close at Daytona and Talladega for so many years, so it would be great to do it this last season together. Just came up a little short today, but the car is fast and it will be good for Sunday," said Earnhardt Jr.
Brad Keselowski qualified third at 190.427 mph, Matt Kenseth qualified fourth at 190.177 mph, and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top-five at 190.155 mph.
DJ Kennington was the sole driver to not make it into the field on Sunday.
The GEICO 500 will be broadcasted on FOX and Motor Racing Network at 1:00 p.m. EST.
It was a tale of two days for Roush Fenway’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and NASCAR Xfinity Series teams this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 from Bristol Motor Speedway was not the best race in 2017 for Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Reed and Darrell Wallace Jr.
In qualifying early Saturday Morning, Reed qualified 24th and Wallace Jr. qualified 14th. However, both drivers had to start in the rear of the field. In pre-race technical inspection, NASCAR found an unapproved splitter mount on both the cars.
For Reed, the first stage of the race was his last. After dropping to the rear of the field to serve his penalty, he began to make strides towards the front. Due to a tight handling race car in the early stages, Reed was put a lapped down by the leaders. Reed never had the chance to make a pit stop to fix the issue.
Reed’s day ended on lap 79 of the 300 lap event. The right front tire blew sending Reed into the wall. Reed also suffered a sprain to his wrist as he did not let go of the steering wheel in time before contact was made. Reed and his team deemed the car as unrepairable to finish 38th
“It was a tough day altogether, starting in the back,” said Reed. “The balance wasn’t very good and we went a lap down early. We were trying to fight through it, but had a tire go down and that ended our day. We’ll move on. We’ll go to Richmond, which is one of my favorite tracks, and rebound. The good thing about getting a win at Daytona is that buys you some insurance in case you have some days like this, so we’ll rebound. I’m really proud of everyone on the Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang. It’s a tough group mentally and physically, so we’ll persevere.”
After getting out of the car, Reed though his wrist was fractured. However, He went to social media to confirm it was just a sprain.
Ohh and wrist is all good. Just a little tight. ??— Ryan Reed (@driverRyanReed) April 22, 2017
For Wallace Jr., his day ended with 40 laps remaining ending his streak of five consecutive sixth place finishes.
In the first stage, Wallace Jr. worked his way towards the top-15 after starting from the rear. He improved over 20 positions in the stage, but went a lap down to the leaders due to a long green flag run. Wallace finished 15th in the first stage.
The second stage saw Wallace Jr. fighting to get his lap back that he lost in the first stage. Wallace Jr. battled Matt Tifft for that free pass position through much of the second and third stage. However, an accident on lap 259 that damaged the left rear of the car regulated Wallace Jr. to a 33rd place finish, tying his worst finish of the season at Daytona.
“It’s just an unfortunate day,” said Wallace. “I was just fighting hard for the lucky dog. We were put in the back for some circumstances we’ve got to get straightened out, but we were trying to make the most of it. We were fast. We were so fast there with our Leidos Mustang. It’s just unfortunate. We were clawing ourselves out of that lap-down spot and just ran out of time and ran out of luck.
The Food City 500 provided Roush Fenway’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., with the best luck of the weekend for the organization. Both drivers ran up front most of the day and ended up with top-11 finishes.
Bayne started in the 12th position due to qualifying being cancelled on Friday. Bayne maintained a top-20 position throughout much of the first stage. As the track rubbered up, Bayne began to experience a tight handling race car towards the end of the stage. Bayne finished the stage in the 15th position.
The second stage Bayne continued to work on his handling working his way up into the top-10. Bayne held off Stenhouse Jr. towards the conclusion to score two points by finishing in the ninth position.
The third stage saw Bayne going from tight conditions in the middle of the corners and loose on corner entry. Bayne was on and off in the top-10. Using the top lane, Bayne gained track position to finish in the 11th position to score his sixth top-15 finish of 2017.
Just like Bayne, Stenhouse Jr. ran up front throughout much of the race and scored a ninth place finish.
Stenhouse was almost going to a backup car after contact with the wall in the only practice session on Friday, but the team repaired the car to full glory for the race.
Stenhouse held onto a position in the top-20 throughout much of the first stage. while battling a loose car. Once the loose condition was treated, Stenhouse marched his way to the front of the field. Stenhouse worked his way towards the top-10 at the conclusion of the second stage.
Stenhouse used the high lane to work his way up to seventh, but ultimately ended up in the ninth position in the Food City 500.
Darrell Wallace Jr. scored his sixth six place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in the My Bariatric Solutions 300. He now holds second for the longest streak with the same top-10 finish. Jack Ingram currently holds that record at six straight races with a second place finish set back in 1983.
That streak almost came to an end at Lap 66. Wallace Jr. and Tyler Reddick made contact going into turn three sending Wallace Jr. into a spin. The spin also collected Justin Allgaier, Brennan Poole, and Daniel Suarez.
Wallace Jr. suffered damage to the splitter and the car’s body, the least amount of damage from anybody involved in the accident.
“We were on the free side pretty much every race and I haven’t had enough to lean on to run with those fast guys up there for most of the year. We had some good calls and good strategy today,” said Wallace Jr. post race. “The 42 got into us there in entry. Just a racing deal. I was a little pissed off at first but you have to remember there are rookies out here and I am still learning myself.”
At the conclusion of the stage, Wallace Jr and his crew chief Seth Barbour elected not to pit in an effort to gain valuable track position at Texas.
Wallace started the third and final stage in the second position, but fell back to around 10th as drivers who had fresher tires went by.
Despite the early spin, Wallace Jr. enjoyed his time in the car.
“What a blast out here today. Texas is tough now. Giving up that bottom groove is like pulling teeth. I really fought hard there and did look with about nine laps to go where I was and got it mixed up between us and the 9 and we were sixth.”
Although the effort was made by Wallace Jr. on the track, he was quick to credit his pit crew for their performance.
“Shout out to my guys. My pit crew was on it all day and all year. They put us in the game there on the green-flag stop. I saw we came out a couple spots ahead of the guys we were behind and I knew it would be a good day,” said Wallace Jr.
Wallace Jr. currently sits fourth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series points standings 49 points behind points leader Elliott Sadler. Wallace Jr. currently holds zero playoff points.
RIDGEWAY, Va.— Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Busch had at it during Sunday’s running of the STP 500.
In the second stage of the race, that ran from laps 130 to 260, Busch was setting a blistering pace lapping the field up to 17th position.
Early in the stage as Busch was about to lap Stenhouse Jr., but Stenhouse did not help but put on a fight with Busch. Stenhouse was not happy with Busch and was going to let him know it the next chance he got.
The opportunity for Stenhouse came on the final lap of stage two. Stenhouse was able to get to the bumper of Busch. Busch went higher than normal in the fourth turn because he was running a lane above where the rubber was being laid down. Stenhouse went low on Busch sending him up the racetrack. Stenhouse was able to get his lap back, and give Chase Elliott the stage win and playoff point.
After the race, Stenhouse mentioned that he had to do it for his team and sponsors to stay on the lead lap.
However, Busch had a different story to tell after the conclusion of the race.
“I actually was rolling into Turn 3 and was kind of going higher out of my way in order to let the 17 back by and give him the lap. That was my intent, and then he just drove through me. It cost me my spot to the 24, so I was hoping the I could rn off the corner side by side with the 17 and keep the 24 at bay and just keep my nose in front of his and be able to score the segment, and I was trying to be a nice guy, but nice guys don’t finish first,” said Busch.
Busch mentioned that he felt disrespected by Stenhouse as he was banging him (Busch) into the corners. Busch also mentions that this incident will come back and bite Stenhouse at a later date.
“You’ve just got to remember race car drivers are like elephants; they remember everything.”
Busch finished second in the STP 500, while Stenhouse Jr finished 10th.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fl.— Ryan Reed scored the victory at Daytona International Speedway in the Powershares QQQ 300, a race that was plagued with two red flags. This is Reed’s second career win at Daytona.
“I had several people come up to me today and tell me how amazing my first win was. To see what that win meant to people, it drove me to get back into victory lane,” said Reed in victory lane.
Reed started the race in stage one in the second position. Reed ran up front for the first stage, while being the pushee and pusher through much of the first segment. Reed was involved in the second caution of the day on the backstretch that collected 20 cars. Reed was able to continue in the race. Elliott Sadler won the stage wth Kasey Kahne in second, Brennan Poole in third, Ty Dillon in fourth, and Blake Koch rounded out the top-five.
In the second stage, Reed was a silent contender working his way back to the front. Reed hooked-up with Sadler to help him get towards the lead on lap 46. Shortly after pushing Sadler to the lead, the field went single file for a few laps before Reed went to the bottom to form a second lane going into ending of the stage, but lost momentum as he was side drafted. Sadler won the second round with Austin Dillon was second, T. Dillon was third, Reed was fourth, and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five.
In the third and final stage, Reed was silent at the beginning, but on lap 82 Reed pushed Keselowski to the lead. When Reed pushed Keselowski to the lead, Keselowski dropped to the bottom leaving Reed on the high side with Sadler pushing him. A. Dillon found a hole on lap 85 to jump in front of Reed. A. Dillon gained a huge lead from the push by Reed, but was sidelined as Reed passed him to gain the lead. Reed also received a huge push from behind, but as quickly as he gained the lead, he was split on both sides by the draft, getting shuffled towards the back of the pack. Reed moved his way back towards the front before the caution fell for an accident on the backstretch. On the restart, Reed challenged Kahne with eight laps to go for the lead. Reed blocked Kahne from taking his position, and received drafting help from T. Dillon. With just three laps remaining, the caution flag flew sending the race into NASCAR Overtime. On the final restart of the race, Reed was able to get a jump on the field to win the race.
Kahne finished second, A. Dillon finished third, Keselowski finished fourth, and Brendan Gaughan finished in the fifth position.
The Powershares QQQ 300 from Daytona was slowed by 10 cautions for 42 laps with two red flags, resulting in the race being stopped for 46 minutes, 13 seconds. There were 23 lead changes among seven drivers with Reed leading nine laps.
Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.