Richmond, Va. (Sept 7, 2012) – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started on the pole and claimed a strong second- place finish in Friday night’s Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway. He slashed his 12 point deficit to a mere one point in the NASCAR Nationwide championship standings with eight races remaining.
“We weren’t as good as we thought we were going to be” Stenhouse said. “We kept working on our No. 6 Ford Ecoboost Mustang all night and Mike (Kelley) and the guys kept making the correct adjustments but we weren’t as stout as the No. 33 to contend for the win. It was a great night for us. It was another top-two finish which makes three good races in a row. We just have to keep having solid finishes these final eight races.”
The final green flag waved on lap 233 with the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide champion restarting in the third position. He hastily passed the No. 54 with his sights set on the No. 33 machine. With matching lap times, Stenhouse Jr. was unable to reel in the leader and took the checkered flag in the second position. His third top-two finish in last three races.
The No. 6 team brought one of the Olive Branch, Mississippi native’s favorite Mustangs nicknamed Maverick. Stenhouse showed the strength of Maverick by claiming the pole on the 0.75 mile track; the fourth pole for Stenhouse in the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide season.When the green flag waved, the No. 6 Ford Ecoboost Mustang got shuffled back on the start but Stenhouse quickly maneuvered through the field and was on point by lap 15 where he remained till lap 70 when his machine was too loose to hold off the charging Kevin Harvick.
The No. 6 team kept tweaking on the Mustang reclaiming the top position on lap 193 before the caution was displayed on lap 195 due to spin by the No. 11. When the green flag waved six laps later, Stenhouse and Harvick had an epic side-by-side battle for 10 laps with Stenhouse rolling the outside and Harvick dive bombing to the inside.
Stenhouse led 65 of 250 laps, claiming his fourth top-five finish in the last five races.
Stenhouse and the No. 6 team travel to Chicagoland Speedway for the Dollar General 300 next Saturday, Sept 15, 2012. Earlier this season at Chicagoland Speedway, Stenhouse led 135 of 201 laps. Race coverage will begin at 3 p.m. (EST) on ESPN2.