Ricky Stenhouse Jr. takes home his 1st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win in Sun.'s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Stenhouse Jr. passed Kyle Busch on the final lap in overtime and held off the field in the run to the checkered flag to score the win.
Ryan Newman’s accident late in the race caused the extra laps and Busch had the top spot heading into overtime. But Stenhouse Jr. got drafting help from Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray to propel him into the lead and out run everyone to the finish line.
Stenhouse said, “We’ve been terrible for a long time, but this year, every race, we’re getting better and better, This car was so fast today, qualifying on the pole, get the win. It’s cool to have Jack Roush back in victory lane. This was cool, closest track to my home town and man, the fans were here this weekend.”
Stenhosue Jr. earned the victory in his 158th career NASCAR Cup start and becomes the 11th first-time winner at Talladega. This win broke Roush Fenway Racing’s 101-race winless streak.
McMurray finished 2nd and Busch was had to settle for third.
Bush said, “Stenhouse got a true good run and good push and got by us and then it was about retaliation, to get back on him, I just never had enough help from behind. … We did all we could today. Unfortunately, circumstances didn’t go our way.”
Aric Almirola and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top five.
Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Johnson, Paul Menard and David Ragan completed the 1st 10 finishers.
Stenhouse Jr. led twice for 14 laps including a last lap pass.
Keselowski and Denny Hamlin won the opening two stages.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now heads to Kansas Speedway next Sat. night for the Go Bowling 400.
Stenhouse started from the pole and was fast all day consistently running near the front of the field. But as was the nature of Talladega, restrictor plate racing and drafting it was back and forth for Stenhouse Jr. But in the overtime restart he quickly made for the leader Kyle Busch and as the field raced down the backstretch, a push from both Johnson and McMurray was enough to send Stenhouse Jr. to Victory Lane.
McMurray scored his best finish of 2017 and 6th top-10 of the season. Despite the disappointment Kyle Busch ended a three run streak of finishes outside the top-10 Almirola followed up his Sat. XFINITY Series win by matching his best finish of the season that he scored in Daytona.
Ryan Blaney had another exceptional restrictor plate run effort going but he got bumped from behind by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. when they checked up for a slower car and the Wood Brothers Racing driver crashed hard into the outside wall. The big pile up came with 20 laps to go and started when AJ Allmendinger made contact with Chase Elliott and before it was over Joey Logano, Erik Jones, Danica Patrick, Austin Dillon, there was a total of 16 cars involved in an accident. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in contention for a win until late when he had a wheel problem that forced him to pit and took him out of the lead draft. He ended up 22nd.
Logano said after the multi-car accident, “That’s superspeedway racing.”