Sten­house scores first ca­reer Cup vic­tory with last-lap pass

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - JENNA FRYER

Ricky Sten­house Jr. used a strong Ford en­gine to blow past Kyle Busch in over­time at Tal­ladega Su­per­speed­way on Sun­day for his first NASCAR Cup vic­tory.

It was the first vic­tory for Roush Fen­way Racing since Carl Ed­wards at Sonoma in 2014. Sten­house, who has led a resur­gent Roush team, won in his 158th Cup start.

He was greeted in vic­tory lane first by car owner Jack Roush, then girl­friend Dan­ica Pa­trick, who was in street clothes be­cause she wrecked out of the race ear­lier.

“We’ve been ter­ri­ble for a long time, but we’ve been get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter every race,” said Sten­house, who took time to note he “parked it” in vic­tory lane for his late friend, Bryan Clau­son.

“It’s good to have Jack Roush back in vic­tory lane. It’s been a long time since I’ve pulled into a vic­tory lane. I had to ask Brad Ke­selowski how to start a race from the pole be­cause it’s been so long.”

Sten­house did start from the pole and praised the power from his Doug Yates-built en­gine for the speed. Then he used that speed to snatch the race away with a last-lap pass of Busch.

The first two stages of the race were calm, and it was the fi­nal stretch to the check­ered flag that got heated.

The race was stopped for nearly 27 min­utes be­cause of an ac­ci­dent that saw AJ All­mendinger’s car flipped on its roof with 19 laps re­main­ing.

NASCAR listed 18 au­to­mo­biles as sus­tain­ing some kind of dam­age in the ac­ci­dent. STAGE 1 WIN­NER: Ke­selowski won the first stage in what seemed to be a Ford rout. He beat fel­low Ford driver Sten­house to win the seg­ment.

Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Trevor Bayne, Joey Logano, Paul Me­nard, Pa­trick, Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones rounded out the Top 10.

Sten­house started from the pole and led 13 laps — the first time he’d led laps all sea­son. STAGE 2 WIN­NER: Denny Ham­lin gave Toy­ota its first taste of the front of the field as he won the sec­ond stage. It was Ham­lin’s first stage win of the sea­son. He was fol­lowed by Kevin Har­vick, Blaney, Truex, John­son, Kyle Lar­son, Kurt Busch, Kahne, Jones and McMur­ray. UP NEXT: A Satur­day night stop at Kansas Speed­way. Kyle Busch earned the vic­tory last year.

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