Talladega, Ala. (May 6, 2013) – After a lengthy rain delay in the Aaron’s 499, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. lined up in the fifth position for the final green-white-checkered finish but the inside lane stalled on forward progress forcing him to settle for a 13th-place finish; moving up two positions in the championship standings to 16th-place.
“Honestly, I would have taken the second-place finish once the red flag was displayed for rain,” Stenhouse said. “It was a great race for our Best Buy Ford. We just got stuck on the inside lane on the final restart and slid backwards. It was a good points’ day though so we will leave Talladega with our heads up and head to Darlington.”
After falling back to 41st early on in the race due to the field getting too dicey, the two-time Nationwide champion charged towards the front as weather turned threatening. Stenhouse took the lead of the 188-lap race on lap 120 but the nose of teammate Carl Edwards’ Ford was inches ahead of the No. 17 front bumper when the caution came out due to rain on lap 122 giving Edwards the advantage.
After a three-and-a-half hour rain delay, the Sprint Cup rookie restarted seventh when the green flag waved and maneuvered his Best Buy Ford up to the third position. During a green flag pit-stop Stenhouse was issued a speeding penalty on pit-road forcing him to bring his Ford down pit-road for a pass-thru penalty.
Despite the penalty, the Olive Branch, Miss. native fought his way up thru the field and was sitting fifth when the final caution flag waved.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Darlington next weekend for the Bojangles’ Southern 500. The race will be Saturday, May 11 at Darlington Raceway. Coverage will begin at 6:45 p.m. (EST) on FOX.