Ricky Stenhouse Jr. only led 22 of the 200 laps at Chicagoland Speedway, but he led the last and most important lap in order to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Ricky started the Dollar General 300 from the third position.
Joey Logano in the No 18 started the race but quickly gave it up to Kyle Busch. The rest of the race was a battle between those two and Austin Dillon in the No 3. Joey Logano led the most laps with 67, Austin Dillon led 52, and Kyle Busch led 50 laps, representing over three quarters of the race.
The No. 6 Blue Bird Ford team couldn’t run with those guys but were able to work on the car throughout the race. Ricky said, “We worked on it quite a bit. It wasn’t to our liking for a while. Going through having to run around and find different grooves to get the car working – I think we found something there at the end to help us come alive.”
Kyle Bush said, “We didn’t fade, we ran really good. The No. 6 (Ricky Stenhouse) just blew our doors off. And it’s frustrating to see those guys drive by you like that and know there’s still two-tenths out there somewhere and you don’t have it. We had a great race car.”
Ricky said before the race “I really enjoy racing at Chicagoland. The track is rough which I like. Our 1.5-mile track program has been stout this year. Earlier this year, we sat on the pole and finished second. After leading 135 laps, we felt like we let that race slip away so we are looking to redeem ourselves this weekend.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and his team not only redeemed themselves but they also earned Roush Fenway Racings first win at Chicagoland Speedway.
“This is cool. I felt like we should have been here last time. It is good to get redemption after a dominating performance last time.” Ricky said, “We didn’t have a dominating car until that last run. Mike kept making good calls and I put us a little behind stalling it on pit road. We had to drive up to the front but Mike gave us a Blue Bird Mustang that could do it. I have to thank all the fans for coming out. It was a lot of fun out there today.”
This is Ricky’s seventh victory in 99 NASCAR Nationwide starts. Austin Dillon was the highest finishing rookie.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. now leads the NASCAR Nationwide Series by 9 points over Elliott Sadler and is 4 points behind the No. 18 in the owner standings.
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