Ricky Stenhouse Jr. enjoyed an early first stage before multiple tire problems held him a lot back at Bristol two weeks ago.
Now he’s back in the No.17 Ford Fusion from his 3rd & final week-long break with practice and qualifying sessions due to begin this Friday.
His Darlington Raceway Cup Series Record
Stenhouse made five Darlington Cup Series appearances since 2013.
His debut run went okay having finished 18th from 14th, one lap down followed by a 20th finish in 2014.
So that’s two straight Top 20 finishes in the bag.
But despite starting off from 8th, Stenhouse’s day went worse when he came home in 38th, 64 laps down.
Although, he bounced back and tied his best finish of 18th for the second in time.
And 12 months ago, his latest appearance went back to poor in 29th, nine laps down from a mid-pack 14th starting spot.
So far out of his Darlington Cup Record, Stenhouse hasn’t yet scored a Top 10 before except his qualifying performance of 8th back in 2015.
Neither has reached a Top 15 finish at all throughout his five Darlington Cup starts.
- Five Starts
- 1778 of 1842 Laps Completed, 96.5%
- Average Start: 17.2 & Finish: 24.6
- DNF: Zero
Furthermore, he made three more XFINITY Series starts between 2010-12 during May.
His debut may have ended up early in 37th through a crash on Lap 64.
But Stenhouse made back to back Top 10 finishes during both of his Championship seasons in 2011-12.
From there, he improved to a respectable 10th before securing his first Pole & 2nd Top Darlington Top 10 in 6th.
- Three Starts
- 362 of 445 Laps Completed, 81.3%
- 18 Laps Led
- Two Top 10, 66.7%
- Average Start: 7.7 & Finish: 17.7
- DNF: One
Stenhouse’s 2018 Season So Far.
- 24 Starts
- 6594 of 6662 Laps Completed, 99%
- 121 Laps Led
- Highest Starting Spot & Finish: 4th, April 2018 in Bristol
- Two Top 5, 8.3%
- Three Top 10 finishes, 12.5%
- Average Start: 14.3 & Finish: 19.2
- DNF: Two, Crash (Daytona 500) & Suspension (Texas)
- He currently sits 16th in the Drivers’ Standings with 480 Points.
- 29th, Daytona 500
- 16th, Atlanta
- 14th, Las Vegas
- 23rd, Phoenix
- 18th, Fontana
- 37th, Martinsville
- 25th, Texas
- 4th, Bristol
- 23rd, Richmond
- 5th, Talladega
- 15th, Dover
- 11th, Kansas
- 10th, Charlotte
- 14th, Pocono
- 29th, Michigan
- 18th, Sonoma
- 16th, Chicago
- 26th, Daytona 2
- 30th, New Hampshire
- 22nd, Pocono
- 16th, Watkins Glen
- 18th, Michigan 2
- 24th, Bristol 2
Like the way, Stenhouse honored his 2018 throwback design to Chad Little when John Deere came back onboard a month ago.
It resembles when C. Little drove this exact paint scheme in the No.97 Ford back in the late 1990s.
And he would appreciate Stenhouse’s commitment and legacy of the Roush Fenway stable having been there for 11 years now going back as a development driver in the ARCA Racing Series.
In the meantime, he’s two places behind Ryan Newman & Alex Bowman in the Playoff bubble.
It’s another Carolinan to another as he last scored his 3rd Top 10 at the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte back in late May.
This time, it’s heading to South Carolina hoping to score another fantastic result to try and deny Alex Bowman’s possible Playoff ticket next weekend at Indianapolis.
He had an early Top 5 run which is one of his strengths inside the race car.
But not 100% of the time where tire and pit road woes saw him finish 24th with five laps down.
It has to be 100% better all-race around especially through practice and qualifying.
It’s now time for Stenhouse to demonstrate the standard that made him a race winner from last year’s events of Talladega & July’s Daytona race if he wants to be in the Playoff picture by Las Vegas.
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