Richmond, Va. (Sept. 8, 2013) – In the final race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. scored his first top-10 finish of his rookie season during Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway; moving up one position in the driver’s point standings to 20th.
“We finally got a top-10 finish and it feels great,” Stenhouse said. “We have been working so hard and have been in situations where it appeared we were going to finish in the top-10 and something would happen. This finish just shows how hard the No. 17 team is working and hopefully this is the first of many in the upcoming races.”
As green flag pit stops were cycling through, a caution flag was displayed before Stenhouse brought his Nationwide Ford to pit road for his scheduled pit-stop leaving him sitting in the 10th position with only 14 cars on the lead lap.
With less than 30 laps remaining in the 400-lap race, the two-time Nationwide champion had maneuvered his Nationwide Ford into the 11th position. The yellow flag was displayed on lap 392 setting up a three lap shootout to the checkered. The Sprint Cup rookie of the year contender took the final green flag in the 12th- position and bullied his way forward to take the checkered flag in the 10th position; his first top-10 finish of the 2013 Sprint Cup season.
After qualifying 21st for his second career Sprint Cup start at RIR, the Olive Branch, Miss. native consistently ran in the top-20 and marched forward despite battling an ill-handling machine for a majority of the race.
Next up for Stenhouse and the No. 17 team is the GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 15. Race coverage begins at 2:00p.m. on ESPN. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.