Long Pond, Penn. (June 7, 2008) – Pocono Raceway is a daunting 2.5-mile tri-oval that requires drivers to put their best foot forward and that’s just what Roush Fenway Racing rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. did. After changing a motor during Friday’s practice session, Stenhouse stepped up to qualify fourth then raced his way to career win number two in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in the No. 99 Con-way Freight Ford. This marked Stenhouse as the only repeat winner in the series so far in 2008.
The No. 99 Con-way Freight Ford was fast off the truck but a mechanical failure forced the team to change a motor half-way through the only practice session of the weekend. With less than 15 practice laps under his belt, Stenhouse navigated his way around the tri-oval in 54.133 seconds placing him fourth for the start of the race. Scott Speed took the pole with a fast lap time of 53.862 seconds.
In a sharp contrast to Friday, Saturday’s race started under sunny skies and warm temperatures. Stenhouse knew he had his work cut out for him over the next 80 laps but he was up to the challenge. The field took the green and Stenhouse settled into fourth, quickly reporting that the Con-way Ford was free to start. The second of eight caution flags flew on lap nine for a wreck in turn one and Stenhouse reiterated that the car was free and had little grip. Crew chief Jeff Campey began planning for adjustments and the field returned to green on lap 13.
Justin Algaier began pulling away from the pack while Stenhouse battled for position falling back to ninth when he had to switch to his backup distributor box. It was a minor set back for the 20-year old who moved back to sixth by lap 27 when caution number three waved and the field came down pit road for the first time. Stenhouse brought the No. 99 to pit stall number three for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment to help balance the car out on lap 28. He entered pit road sixth and the fast work of the Con-way Freight team returned him to the track in second for the restart on lap 33.
Stenhouse immediately reported that the car was handling better and the field returned to racing on lap 40. Under caution on lap 50 the Con-way Freight team pitted for the second and final time changing four tires, taking on fuel and making a track bar and air pressure adjustment in 16.79 seconds. Stenhouse restarted in sixth on lap 55 and never looked back.
In just one lap Stenhouse picked up two positions placing him inside the top five and on lap 67, in a dramatic move, Stenhouse went three-wide for the lead. Emerging on top, Stenhouse led the field for the next 20 laps, enduring two cautions, six extra laps, and a late-race charge from Speed to take home his second career ARCA win. It was quite an achievement for the dirt-track racer who had never raced the 2.5-mile track before. He also becomes the only driver in 2008 to win two races.
“It’s great to be in victory lane again so soon,” said Stenhouse following his win. “We had Con-way Freight on board this week for the first time so it was great to take their 21,000 employees to victory lane. The guys worked really hard and I can’t thank them enough for all they did yesterday to change the motor and get us back on track for qualifying. I had a great car today. We started out the race a bit free but as the race went on the No. 99 Con-way Freight Ford got better and better and we actually ran our fastest lap times there at the end. I didn’t shift which hurt us in some places but overall I think it was the right decision. Overall it was a great day; I couldn’t be happier right now.”
During his post-race press conference Stenhouse also said, “I liked this track the first time I came here a few weeks ago to test. We didn’t get to practice as much as we wanted but Jeff Campey had really good notes and I was able to get help from Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards.
“I’m pretty excited about that (winning two races). Hopefully we’ll be the first to win three next week at Michigan. That’s what we’re shooting for.”
Stenhouse’s win brings his season totals to two wins, four top-five and six top-10 finishes. He continues to lead the point standings over Matt Carter increasing his lead to 70. The ARCA RE/MAX Series returns to action next Friday, June 13 at Michigan International Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED at 5:15 p.m. EDT.
About Con-way Freight
Con-way is a leading less-than-truckload freight transportation company, providing guaranteed, day-definite regional and transcontinental service through a single, unified network of more than 400 service centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Con-way Freight offers LTL freight delivery across North America, as well as delivery in the United States for international less-than-container (LCL) ocean shipments from Asia through its OceanGuaranteedSM service. Con-way Freight is a certified SmartWay and FAST highway carrier and is ISO 9001- and 14001-, C-TPAT/PIP, ACE- and CSA-certified. Con-way Freight is a subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), a $4.2 billion freight transportation and logistics services company and FORTUNE magazine's "Most Admired Company" in transportation and logistics for 2007. For more information, visit www.con-way.com/freight.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating 13 motorsports teams. Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Travis Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.