Toledo, Ohio (May 18, 2008) – For the No. 99 team, there were many unknowns heading into the race at Toledo Speedway. The team had not raced or tested at the track but an experienced crew chief, spotter and team, peppered with a touch of USAC experience from the driver, led the team to another solid performance. Sporting the Scotts logo for the first time in 2008, driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. qualified ninth and raced in the top-10 for 200+ laps before logging a seventh place finish.
Under threatening skies on Saturday, the ARCA RE/MAX Series took to the track for practice and qualifying. Stenhouse clocked a fast lap time of 16.28 seconds placing him ninth for Sunday’s race while Andy Hanson captured the pole with a time of 15.89 seconds. The threatening skies returned for Sunday’s 200-lap race but officials were able to start the race on time although a two hour rain delay was imminent.
After just 10 laps the first of 19 cautions flew when the No. 30 hit the wall in turn two. Stenhouse ran ninth and reported that the No. 99 Scotts Ford was pretty loose to start but was getting better as the run went on. The field took the green on lap 14 and by lap 22 the leaders were lapping the field. On lap 64 the fifth caution flew and crew chief Jeff Campey took the opportunity to come down pit road for the first and only time of the day calling for two tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to help correct a tight problem.
Stenhouse came down pit road stopping on his marks and the Scotts team went to work. The team finished up on the left side and the jack dropped but the front tire changer came around to the right side loosening lug nuts before Campey gave the direction to tighten them back up. This cost the team valuable track position at a track notoriously tough to pass at. Stenhouse had entered pit road in 10th but returned in 16th for the restart on lap 69.
Stenhouse remained calm, methodically working his way through traffic and emerging in 12th when the sixth caution flew on lap 75. Several leaders pitted cycling Stenhouse to ninth for the restart on lap 82 placing him back inside the top-10 where he would run the remainder of the day. The skies finally opened up on lap 104 bringing the race to a stop. For nearly two hours teams waited while the rain came and went and track dryers worked feverishly to get the racing surface ready.
With the No. 37 of Dexter Bean at the helm, the field took the green and once again Stenhouse was on the move breaking into the top-five by lap 140. Stenhouse maintained his position for the next 40+ laps but a series of late race cautions coupled with handling problems moved the No. 99 Scotts Ford to seventh to run out the final 13 laps. For the second week in a row the race went into overtime with Matt Carter leading the field off turn four and to the checkered flag. Stenhouse crossed the line in seventh while Patrick Sheltra finish second and Bean finished third. This marks the seventh different winner in as many races in 2008.
“Today was a tough day,” said Stenhouse following the rain-delayed race. “The No. 99 Scotts Ford was better in the race than it was in practice but I just couldn’t get it to turn through the corners like I needed to. The guys in front of me could drive it into the corner, turn it quick then get back to the gas and off they went. I was having to turn the wheel a lot and when I got back to the gas it would snap loose. It’s definitely frustrating but overall to come away in one piece, making all the laps and holding the points lead, we’ll take it. I definitely have some work to do before we come back here in the fall.”
The seventh place finish marks Stenhouse’s fifth top-10 finish of the season in just seven races. Stenhouse maintains his point lead increasing the spread by five to lead Carter by 10. The ARCA RE/MAX Series takes two weeks off before returning to action at Pocono Raceway in June. The Toledo Speedway race can be seen tape delayed on MAVTV, check www.arcaracing.com for dates and times.
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.