Concord, N.C. (Oct. 13, 2013)- After getting his first Sprint Cup series start in 2011 in the famed No. 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his My Best Buy Ford to a 13th- place finish in Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 earning Sunoco rookie of the race award.
“We fought all night,” Stenhouse said. “Our My BestBuy Ford just lacked grip for a majority of the race. We gambled at the end taking the wave around to get back on the lead lap but conserved fuel in hopes of some cars running out of gas. I am proud of my team and our 13th-place finish.”
When the final caution of the 334-lap race was displayed, the two-time Nationwide champion was sitting in the 15th-position and one lap down as there was only 10 cars on the lead lap. Crew chief Scott Graves and Stenhouse decided to take the wave around to get back on the lead lap as a strategy move in hopes some of the lead lap cars were short on fuel.
With 23 laps remaining, Stenhouse went into fuel conservation mode being the last car on the lead lap and two laps shy of the scheduled 500-mile distance. The Olive Branch, Miss. native maneuvered his My Best Buy Ford into the 13th - position when the checkered flag waved in Saturday night’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
With an early draw in Thursday night’s qualifying session, the Sprint Cup rookie took the green flag in the 16th position and steadily worked his way up through the field despite battling a loose machine that was lacking grip.
Next up for Stenhouse and the No. 17 team is the Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, October 20. Race coverage begins at 2 p.m. on ESPN. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.