Sonoma, Cal. (June 23, 2013) – Despite never running a single lap at the 1.99-mile 11-turn road course, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. fought his way to a 27th-place finish in Sunday’s Toyota/Save-mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, earning the Sunoco rookie of the race award.
“Road courses aren’t my specialty,” Stenhouse said. “Our main goal was to stay on the track and bring our car home in one piece and we did that. The guys gave me a strong Ford but I struggled on some of the turns. We have a lot of notes that we can come back with. It was a successful day for us.”
The two-time Nationwide champion qualified in the 37th-position for the first road course race of the 2013 season after getting off course during his qualifying lap.
With light rain during the first half of the race, the Sprint Cup rookie contender slowly maneuvered up through the field breaking into the top-30 by lap 30 of the 110-lap race. Pit-stop strategy boosted the rookie up into the 16th- position by lap 33.
Stenhouse patiently worked his way up through the field and took the checkered flag in the 27th-position maintaining the 19th position in the Sprint Cup point standings.
Next up for Stenhouse and the No. 17 team is the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, June 29. Race coverage begins at 7:30p.m. EST on TNT. Coverage can also be heard on PRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.