Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win in Sunday’s GEICO 500 from Talladega Superspeedway.
Stenhouse drove to the overtime win following a caution period that was brought out when Ryan Newman wrecked on the 2.66-mile super speedway’s back stretch. He beat Chip Ganassi Racing’s Jamie McMurray to the finish line by just 0.95 seconds, capitalizing on his pole position start to win his first Cup series race in 158 starts. Reigning series champ Kyle Busch crossed the finish line just 0.004 seconds behind McMurrary.
“This is for all the guys at the shop — we’ve been terrible for a long time,” Stenhouse told NASCAR.com post-race. “This year, every race, we’re just getting better and better. We knew Talladega was a good race track for us. It’s been a good one in the past.”
“This Fifth Third Ford was so fast today. Qualifying on the pole, got the win. Can’t say enough about the guys. It’s cool to get Jack Roush back in Victory Lane.
The race was stopped for 26 minutes after a major wreck on the backstretch on Lap 169. Nearly half the field was caught up in the carnage when the No. 47 Chevrolet of AJ Allmendinger got into the back of the No. 24 Chevy of Chase Elliott, launching the No. 24 into the air and turning Allmendinger’s car on its roof. Major names such as Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, martin Truex Jr. and last year’s race winner Brad Keselowski were among those involved.
Completing the top five were Richard Petty Motorsport’s Aric Almirola and Hendrick Motorsports Kasey Kahne. Series leader Kyle Larson blew a tire and hit the outside wall on Lap 17, but recovered well to finish 12th overall and extend his lead over Truex Jr by 54 points.