Fort Worth, Texas (April 12, 2013) – After winning the Nationwide series race last year, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. qualified in the 17th -position in his No. 17 Best Buy Ford for the first night race of the 2013 season.
“That qualifying lap felt like I had a totally different Ford than what we had during practice,” Stenhouse said after qualifying. “I guess that’s what’s good about having teammates and other people in the Ford camp is you’re able to lean on them and find out some ideas for qualifying and race setups. All in all, our Best Buy Ford was 10 times better than where we were. I think we went a second faster than practice, so that was a plus.”
“We still have some learning to do and things to figure out, but now it’s on to the race. We’ll see if we can learn a little bit watching the Nationwide race and then come up with a good setup for the race. My team is not scared to try new things, so I think that’s a plus. We didn’t run the setup we just qualified with, and it was a lot better than we were, so that’s a plus.”
The No. 17 team had two practice sessions on Friday afternoon to get the No. 17 Best Buy Ford Fusion dialed in for qualifying and to work on race trim. The two-time NASCAR Nationwide champion struggled during the practice sessions with a tight machine but the No. 17 team gambled and put it in a set-up that was new to them. The gamble paid off for the Sprint Cup rookie lining him up in the 17th-position for Saturday night’s race.
The Olive Branch, Miss. native was the 25th-car to take to the track posting a fast lap time of 27.951 seconds (193.195 mph) earning Stenhouse the 17th- starting position for Saturday night’s race.
The NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway will be televised on Saturday, April 13 starting at 7:00 p.m. EST on FOX, with radio coverage presented by the Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SIRIUS radio channel 90.