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STENHOUSE JR WINS NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES O'REILLY AUTO PARTS 300

by TMS Webmaster | Apr 13, 2012

Ricky Stenhouse Jr 

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 13, 2012) - Defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. survived a late-race restart  to claim his first career victory at Texas Motor Speedway in Friday night's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300.

Stenhouse Jr. (No. 6 Pure Michigan Ford) staved off Denny Hamlin (No. 18 SportClips Toyota) and Paul Menard (No. 33 Menards/Rheem Chevrolet) on  a restart following a caution with six to go for his second win of the Nationwide Series season. Hamlin, restarting fourth, darted high to make it three wide into Turn 1 with Stenhouse Jr. and Menard.

Stenhouse Jr. and Hamlin battled side by side for the entire lap with Stenhouse Jr. taking the lead by .001 of a second. He methodically pulled away, opening a .338 of a second lead on the ensuing lap and eventually winning by 1.434 seconds.

It was his third consecutive top-10 finish at Texas Motor Speedway - which included his previous -best finish of sixth in November - and fourth win in a row for Roush Fenway Racing. The performance also allowed Stenhouse Jr. to cut the deficit on points leader Elliott Sadler (No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet) , who finished 12th, from 18 to 4.

Menard  appeared to be in position to become the third driver in Texas Motor Speedway history to win a Nationwide Series race from the pole as he led five times for a race-high 100 laps in the 200-lap event.  But Menard was unable to shake a relentless Stenhouse Jr. and also did not benefit from some late caution periods.

Following behind Stenhouse Jr. and Menard were Kasey Kahne (No. 38 Great Clips Chevrolet), Hamlin and rookie Austin Dillon (No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet). While Ford earned the victory, Chevrolet had a strong showing paced by Menard with six cars among the top 10.

Other notable finishers were Danica Patrick (No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet) in  eighth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 5 Degree Chevrolet) 14th, Kurt Busch (No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota) 30th and Brad Keselowski (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge) 35th.

For full box score/results, click here.

Fin Str Car Driver Laps
1 3 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 200
2 1 33 Paul Menard(i) 200
3 8 38 Kasey Kahne(i) 200
4 2 18 Denny Hamlin(i) 200
5 4 3 Austin Dillon # 200
6 30 27 David Ragan(i) 200
7 16 31 Justin Allgaier 200
8 17 7 Danica Patrick 200
9 18 43 Michael Annett 200
10 9 30 Steve Arpin 200
11 14 12 Sam Hornish Jr. 200
12 5 2 Elliott Sadler 200
13 7 88 Cole Whitt # 200
14 20 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr.(i) 200
15 12 20 Joey Logano(i) 200
16 10 44 Mike Bliss 199
17 33 87 Joe Nemechek 199
18 23 81 Jason Bowles # 199
19 24 01 Mike Wallace 198
20 15 70 Johanna Long # 197
21 21 8 Kyle Fowler 196
22 31 39 Kelly Bires 196
23 27 40 Erik Darnell 196
24 42 14 Eric McClure 192
25 28 19 Tayler Malsam(i) 192
26 40 50 TJ Bell 192
27 38 52 Tim Schendel 192
28 26 41 Timmy Hill 191
29 37 51 Jeremy Clements 188
30 6 54 Kurt Busch(i) 187
31 25 4 Danny Efland 187
32 19 9 Ryan Truex 182
33 41 24 Benny Gordon # 175
34 39 23 Robert Richardson Jr. 169
35 13 22 Brad Keselowski(i) 159
36 29 15 Blake Koch 92
37 11 11 Brian Scott 61
38 34 75 Scott Riggs(i) 9
39 36 46 Chase Miller 8
40 32 42 Josh Wise(i) 7
41 35 47 Scott Speed(i) 7
42 43 74 Kevin Lepage 4
43 22 10 Jeff Green 3

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