April 6, 2013 10:10 AM

Stenhouse Qualifies 20th in His First Career Start at Martinsville Speedway


Martinsville, Va. (April 6, 2013) - In his first career start at the paper clip shaped half-mile track, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. earned a 20th-place starting position for Sunday’s STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

“We backed up what we did in practice,” Stenhouse said. ”Our No. 17 Fifth Third was just a little tight on that qualifying lap. This place is pretty tricky, but I went out there and hit my marks and we backed up our practice times. I think we’ll have a decent starting spot here which is important. We are still learning since this was my first time to log laps here this morning. We’ve got a long day tomorrow to practice some more and then 500 laps on Sunday to get it all figured out.”

The No. 17 team had one practice session on Friday afternoon to get the No. 17 Fifth Third Ford Fusion dialed in for qualifying. Stenhouse’s main objective was to log laps since this is his first start at the unique Martinsville Speedway. The two-time NASCAR Nationwide Champion finished the first practice session in the 23rd - position.

The Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year contender was the 15th car to take to the track for his qualifying effort.  The No. 17 Fifth Third Bank Ford Fusion posted a fast lap time of 19.433 seconds (97.442 mph) earning Stenhouse the 20th - starting position for Sunday’s 500-lap race.

The STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway will be televised on Sunday, April 7th starting at 12:30 p.m. EST on FOX, with radio coverage presented by the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SIRIUS radio channel 90.



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