Nelles Corner, Ont. (June 29, 2008) – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. increased his point lead to 130 over second-place Scott Speed after a solid performance north of the border. In his first visit to Cayuga Motor Speedway, Stenhouse Jr. looked like a veteran leading a total of 101 laps and claiming his seventh consecutive top-10 finish when he crossed the line in third.
Shortly into Saturday’s only practice session, Stenhouse spun his No. 99 Ford in turn three causing damage to the left rear of the car. The No. 99 team worked feverishly to make repairs and by 3:30 p.m. they were sitting on pit road ready to qualify. Stenhouse made it around the .625-mile oval in 20.600 seconds while Just Lofton claimed the pole with a fast lap time of 20.424 seconds.
After a brief rain delay, the field took the green and Stenhouse broke into the top-five by lap 20. The first of 18 cautions for 106 laps flew on lap 37 and Stenhouse reported that the No. 99 Ford was a little free off the corner, but overall pretty good.
The field resumed under green flag conditions and Stenhouse continued battling with Matt Carter for the fourth-place position. By lap 82 Stenhouse had assumed the lead and the fourth caution flew on lap 88 when the No. 18 spun into the grass off turn two. Stenhouse entered pit road for the only time taking on four tires and fuel while the No. 99 team also made an air pressure and track bar adjustment. The No. 99 Ford returned to the track in 10th when the top nine cars remained on the track due to an earlier round of pit stops.
The field went green on lap 94 and Stenhouse rapidly made his way back to the front, picking off the competition one at a time. By lap 100 Stenhouse surged into the top-five where he would run the remainder of the day. He quickly passed Ken Butler III for fourth on lap 101 with the No. 1 becoming his next victim. Stenhouse assumed second place on lap 115 then on lap 123, leader Justin Allgaier spun, bringing out the sixth caution. Stenhouse immediately came over the radio to apologize stating, “He got loose first and I tried to brake but got into him a little bit.”
Stenhouse had re-assumed the lead where he ran until lap 216. Stenhouse brought the field across the line for the 13th restart and the No. 16 and No. 44 joined forces to freight train the No. 99 on the inside. With 216 laps in the book, and rain on the horizon, crew chief Jeff Campey made the call to stay on the track. A series of cautions flew and Stenhouse was told to save fuel.
On old ties the No. 99 Ford was now starting to get loose off the corners but the tenacious 20-year old never gave up. Running lap times comparable with the leader, Stenhouse eyed second place but the laps clicked off and time ran out. Allgaier rebounded from his earlier spin to claim his first win of the season while Frank Kimmel crossed the line in second followed by Stenhouse in third. His finish marks the seventh top-five finish for Stenhouse who remains the only repeat winner in the series in 2008.
“All in all it was a good day for us,” said Stenhouse following the 257-lap event. “I messed up in practice and the guys worked real hard to get the car back on track for qualifying so I have to thank them for their hard work. The track was actually pretty racy and there was a lot more passing than I thought there would be. Our No. 99 Ford Fusion was good all day; it really rolled through the corners nice and so it was fun to drive. It was a fun track to race and I think the fans got to see some good hard racing. I think we led the most laps which is cool but I would have liked to get that third win. I’m just glad to leave here with the points lead.”
Twenty-one cars finished the race with 14 on the lead lap. Stenhouse’s average finish jumps to 6.9 and his totals on the year include two wins (Kentucky, Pocono), seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes. The ARCA RE/MAX Series takes a two week break before returning to the site of Stenhouse’s first career stock car win at Kentucky Speedway on July 18.
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.