Ricky Stenhouse Jr. gets a white hat at Texas

Photo by Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs 
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got the hat to go with his Mustang by winning the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night. Well, mostly under the lights, anyway. The race was slowed for seven laps of caution and officially red-flagged for 5:27 minutes because a bank of lights went out in Turn 3 of the mile-and-a-half track. 

Stenhouse Jr., who was fastest in final practice and started the race in third, took the lead on Lap 195 and drove the No. 6 Roush Fenway Pure Michigan Ford to his first win at the Great American Speedway and second win of the season. He leaves the Lone Star State just four points in back of Nationwide series leader Elliott Sadler, who finished 12th.

Polesitter Paul Menard in the No. 33 Menards/Rheem Chevy finished right behind Stenhouse Jr. with Kasey Kahne in the No. 38 Great Clips Chevy hot on his heels. Menard said, “The RCR cars are really fast and I’ve been itching to get in one since Daytona. It’s fun watching them on TV and it’s even more fun driving them. “

“We were in the mix all night long. “ said Kasey Kahne, “The Turner Motorsports guys have done a great job preparing fast cars, cars that can compete.”

Denny Hamlin brought the No. 18 SportClips Toyota in fourth, with Austin Dillon in the No. 3 American Ethanol Chevy finishing fifth after staying out on the last restart. He paid the price for having old tires, though Dillon said he was pleased with the finish.

The race ran 2 hours and 22 minutes with five cautions for a total of 33 laps. There were a total of 14 lead changes in front of the crowd of 73,600.

Finishing order:

1. (3) Ricky Stenhouse Jr
2. (1) Paul Menard
3. (8) Kasey Kahne
4. (2) Denn Hamlin
5. (4) Austin Dillon
6. (30) David Ragan
7. (16) Justin Allgaier
8. (17) Danica Patrick
9. (18) Michael Annett
10. (9) Steve Arpin,
11. (14) Sam Hornish Jr.
12. (5) Elliott Sadler
13. (7) Cole Whitt
14 (20) Dale Earnhardt Jr.
15. (12) Joey Logano
16 (10) Mike Bliss
17. (33) Joe Nemechek
18. (23) Jason Bowles
19. (24) Mike Wallace
20. (15) Johanna Long
21. (21) Kyle Fowler
22. (31) Kelly Bires
23. (27) Erik Darnell
24. (42) Eric McClure
25. (28) Tayler Malsam
26. (40) TJ Bell
27. (38) Tim Schendel
28. (26) Timmy Hill
29. (37) Jeremy Clements
30. (6) Kurt Busch
31. (25) Danny Efland
32. (19) Ryan Truex
33. (41) Benny Gordon
34. (39) Robert Richardson Jr.
35. (13) Brad Keselowski
36. (29) Blake Koch
37. (11) Brian Scott
38. (34) Scott Riggs
39. (36) Chase Miller
40. (32) Josh Wise
41. (35) Scott Speed
42. (43) Kevin Lepage
43. (22) Jeff Green
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. gets a white hat at Texas Ricky Stenhouse Jr. gets a white hat at Texas Reviewed by Janine Cloud on Saturday, April 14, 2012 Rating: 5

1 comment

  1. Ricky's ready for Cup racing. Give him another year in NW and another championship and he'll be good to go.