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Stenhouse Jr. Battles Back at Bristol

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. battled back from a variety of challenges to finish fourth in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Roush Fenway Racing driver notched a top-five to continue his recent strong showings at the .533-mile short track.

“We were fighting track position, gaining it and losing it back-and-forth over the last two days, but, all in all, it was a really strong run for our Sunny D Ford,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “We had a good Friday, a good Saturday and a good race on Sunday and Monday.

“I’m glad we were able to get it all in and we appreciate the fans for sticking around. That was a fun race. I love the race track It’s nice being able to run the bottom, run the top on the long runs. It made for some good racing.”

It certainly wasn’t easy for Stenhouse Jr. who suffered through quite the odyssey on his way to finishing fourth. He spun on lap 61 from second place and then had an uncontrolled tire penalty while running ninth on lap 130. Despite those problems, he got his first top-10 finish of 2018 and has finished top 10 in three of the last four races at Bristol.

“We fought adversity,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “We lost track position multiple times and had to pass a lot of cars to get back to where we were. (Crew chief) Brian (Pattie) made a great call coming down pit road and taking tires before that long green flag run that we had. We got into second and I was hoping it would just go green to the end, knowing that we had better tires than the 42 (Kyle Larson), who was the class of the field all day.

“Then we restarted there at the end. Brian said he didn’t get to really check the stagger on these tires and maybe make an adjustment with it. We didn’t take fuel and that sometimes tightens you up a little bit, but, all in all, a great weekend for us. Hopefully, this will kind of get us going and kick start us into next week and the rest of the season.”