Yeehaw! NASCAR Star Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Grabs Nationwide Victory at Texas, Tallies Second Win of the Season
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. just keeps on getting better.
Oakley’s defending NASCAR Nationwide Champion put his prowess on the track in full display this past weekend, claiming his second win of the season and the fourth consecutive NASCAR Nationwide triumph for his team, Roush Fenway, in the Lone Star State.
Following an intense race, laced with two dramatic restarts, Ricky sealed the deal after regaining the lead with 23 laps to go – smashing past Austin Dillon to cruise to the win after the final restart.
“Whew!” he said, rocking his Oakley eyewear and racing gloves. “We finally got a cowboy hat at Texas. I love coming here. We finally finished off a race.”
Following a restart with six laps left, Ricky powered to the front of the pack, only to be challenged by Denny Hamlin. The two sped head-to-head, with Oakley’s speed demon a mere .001 seconds in front as the next lap came about.
But Ricky pulled out all the stops – pulling away for the win 1.4 seconds in front of Paul Menard.
And despite radio problems, technical glitches and track lights going dark throughout the evening, he persevered and fought off any charges from the Sprint Cup regulars on hand.
“It was back and forth,” Ricky continued. “The race started we were very strong, our Pure Michigan Mustang was doing everything that I needed it to do. Then we lost a little track position there on that restart and seemed like we really struggled, wasn’t sure if it wanted to be loose, tight, we were battling with it.”
One area of improvement needed from the past season, according to the team, was restarts. His outing in Texas was clearly reflective of some major focus and attention to all aspects of his overall repertoire.
“I think a big thing last year was confidence in restarts. If I had a bad one I would spend whole run and the whole next caution trying to think about what I needed to do different.”
“I just go into it with a little bit more confidence this year about it. They seem to be a lot better. There’s still some things I need to work on as a racecar driver and I think restarts, the initial takeoff can be improved on. Once we get going I don’t know if there’s anybody that drives it harder than we do. So getting up through the gears, we’re getting a lot better at it.”