Improbable: NASCAR Star Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Steals Magical Nationwide Victory in Kansas
Magic really does exist in the Land of Oz.
Raging back from lagging behind a whole two laps, Oakley NASCAR Star Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. claimed his sixth triumph of the season – and his eighth career victory – at the Kansas Lottery 300 Nationwide Series race this past weekend.
Following a dramatic green-white-checkered-flag finish, stretching the event six extra laps beyond its original 200, Ricky plowed his way to front of the pack in the final turn as then-leader Kyle Busch used up all his fuel.
The improbable result became a reality as his car charged through a collision with Joey Logano on-track.
“The guys did an awesome job getting the car back together, and we never gave up,” Ricky said, rocking his Oakley Batwolf eyewear. “Mike made great calls and adjustments to fix how the car drove with the damage, and it was still one of the fastest cars out there. I didn’t see the win coming like this, but we will take it.”
Adjusting to a freshly repaved track with graduated banking, the leaders made their way through a record 12 cautions in 50 laps – eventually leading to the run-in between Ricky and Logano.
Losing two laps after the green-flag pit stop, Ricky eventually clawed his way back into contention at the Lap 142 restart – leveraging a free pass as the highest-scored lapped car under the 10th caution.
But it still was no breeze finding his way up – a he’d find himself getting through an 11th caution, surviving some challenges from the likes of Elliot Sadler and Dillon – as well as capitalizing on Busch’s fuel shortage.
The amazing win effectively cut Sadler’s overall series lead over our defending Champion from 13 to six with three races remaining on the year.
1. (10) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 206, $91143.
2. (2) Austin Dillon #, Chevrolet, 206, $65718.
3. (1) Joey Logano(i), Toyota, 206, $50125.
4. (7) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 206, $38533.
5. (8) Cole Whitt #, Chevrolet, 206, $35158.
6. (6) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 206, $24190.
7. (21) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 206, $32208.
8. (14) Michael Annett, Ford, 206, $28508.
9. (12) Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 206, $27418.
10. (13) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 206, $27783.