“We needed it, bad,” Stenhouse says of their second spot effort at Dover

Stenhouse Dover

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has competed in multiple races of the season, but he had little or nothing to show for it until Monday.

Stenhouse Dover

Stenhouse has crashed out of 3 races in the NASCAR Cup Series season’s opening 10 races, with his highest result of 10th at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

In reality, Stenhouse had never finished higher than 21st in other nine races.

Until Monday, anyway.

Stenhouse and his No. 47 JTG Daugherty Chevrolet had climbed to sixth place by the completion of Stage 2 of Monday’s rain-postponed race at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway.

Stenhouse had climbed to fourth place after a restart on Lap 348 of 400. On the restart, Stenhouse claimed third after Elliott got around Ross Chastain for the lead.

Stenhouse overtook Elliott for second place on Lap 351. Stenhouse settled for second after getting near a couple of times as Elliott fought lapped traffic. Elliott won his first race of the 2022 season.

“We needed it, bad,” Stenhouse said of his run. “Man, it’s been a rough start to the season. Our short track program has been off. All our other good races that we’ve had good runs going, something has always happened.

“I felt like we had a car capable of winning. Obviously, getting off pit road at different times. My pit crew did a great job keeping us up front all day.

“That was a lot of fun. A lot of battling. It was tough to pass, but it was fun running through lapped traffic. I really wish we had like a 70-lap run to end (the race).”

This season, Stenhouse claimed his squad has underperformed at the series’ lesser circuits, but has been extremely competitive at the series’ bigger, quicker circuits.

The squad wants a fresh race — on the racetrack and on pit road – to prove its capabilities, according to Stenhouse.

“We feel like we’ve been better than where we are right now as a race team. We’ve put a lot of fast race cars together, just haven’t had much to show for it.

“I’m really happy with this performance today. It was a tough battle out there. The track was tough. The cars were tough to drive. Our car was dialed in and our pit crew did a fabulous job on pit road.

“Just came up one spot short.”

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