Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ricky Stenhouse earns first career victory at Dega

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

by Courtney Horn

After 158 starts, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. is a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winner. Stenhouse received a push from 7-time champion Jimmie Johnson in overtime and edged out Jamie McMurray and Kyle Busch for the victory.

“Doesn't get any sweeter.” Stenhouse said of the victory, “You know, I look at our first 150 or so, and I can only hope that the next 150 are going to be kind of like Joey Logano's. He had 300 races, the first 150 weren't great, the next 150 were. Hopefully this is a start of that. A lot of hard work from Brian Pattie, Steve and Jack and everybody at the shop to continue to put race cars out there and continue to give us the resources, and man, it's awesome to finally finish it off."

The victory is Roush Fenway Racing’s first victory since Carl Edwards won at Sonoma on June 22, 2014.

Several drivers were plagued with trouble in Stage 1, including Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson. Larson brought out the first of eight cautions on Lap 16 after hitting the wall with a right front blown tire. Larson’s troubles continued later in the event when he was forced to change batteries, but he recovered for a 12th place finish.

Brad Keselowski sits third in the points after securing the Stage 1 win. He led 31 laps toward a 7th place finish.

Denny Hamlin dropped to the back of the pack early at the start of the Geico 500, and it paid off for the FedEx driver, unlike a year ago. Hamlin gained the lead for the start of Stage 2 and secured the Stage 2 win before earning an 11th place finish.

The Big One occurred on Lap 169 when Chase Elliott received a push from the No. 47 Kroger ClickList Chevrolet of A.J Allmendinger. More than 10 cars were collected in the incident that sent Elliott airborne and left Allmendinger on his top.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Kansas for its first night race of the season on FS1.

Final Running Order:

1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2. Jamie McMurray
3. Kyle Busch
4. Aric Almirola
5. Kasey Kahne
6. Kurt Busch
7. Brad Keselowski
8. Jimmie Johnson
9. Paul Menard
10.  David Ragan
11.  Denny Hamlin
12.  Kyle Larson
13. Ty Dillon
14.  Clint Bowyer
15.  Chris Buescher
16.  Cole Whitt
17.  Elliott Sadler
18.  Matt DiBenedetto
19.  Daniel Suarez
20. Gray Gaulding
21.  Joey Gase
22.  Dale Earnhardt Jr.
23.  Kevin Harvick
24. Matt Kenseth
25. Ryan Newman
26.  Brendan Gaughan
27.  Corey LaJoie
28.  Jeffrey Earnhardt
29.  Landon Cassill
30.  Chase Elliott
31.  AJ Allmendinger
32.  Joey Logano
33.  Erik Jones
34.  Michael McDowell
35.  Martin Truex Jr.
36.  Austin Dillon
37.  Trevor Bayne
38.  Danica Patrick
39.  Ryan Blaney
40.  Reed Sorenson

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