Stenhouse scores 1st career Cup victory with last-lap pass

Stenhouse scores 1st career Cup victory with last-lap pass

Avoiding the "Big One" and making a late pass on Kyle Busch on the last lap Sunday afternoon in the Geico 500, Stenhouse held off Busch to win for the first time this season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Eventual race victor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was among the strongest drivers in the Ford camp, as were Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick. With the track position for Stage 2, Hamlin set sail and led all 55 laps of the stage.

The red flags emerged and the race was stopped, and when it got going again, it was Busch who led from his Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate and stage two victor Denny Hamlin.

"It's really circumstantial as to what the guys do in front of you, and what is happening behind you", said McMurray, who posted his best finish since running second at Martinsville in the fall of 2015.

The caution allowed the leaders to hit pit road, putting them inside the fuel window to make it to the end of the first stage.

“It will be nice to lead the field to the green here, ” Stenhouse said.

The field runs three-wide.

The Blue Oval teams ran well showing the Ford horsepower that has won five of the first 10 races this season.

366: Laps led in 2017, putting him in fourth place behind Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.

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He made par on the 18th - his ninth hole of the day - to go out in 40 strokes and appear destined to miss the cut. If not for the tournament itself, the 17th at TPC Sawgrass provided its usual fireworks this week.

Despite his strong qualifying effort and a reputation for being one of the most prolific restrictor plate racers of his generation, Earnhardt left Talladega feeling like the current rules just doesn't play to his strengths.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series fans will be talking about the GEICO 500 for a while. He lost it on Lap 89 when Newman took the lead before being overtaken two laps later by Bowyer. The stage win was his second of the season. Harvick regained the top spot on Lap 123 and gave it up to Harvick on Lap 127, who was passed one lap later by Johnson. Several other drivers beat Hamlin off pit road by taking fuel only.

Blaney was forced to go to the garage, but did re-enter the race. After a tap from the No. 47 Chevrolet of AJ Allmendinger, the No. 24 Chevy of Chase Elliott turned sideways across traffic on the backstretch. The race was immediately red-flagged.

"That's really the only question that I had, was whether the team would be able to support Ricky in his effort to win a race and Brian (Pattie, crew chief) and all of his detail and his preparation".

The track then dropped this massive subtweet directed at Busch, as Landon Cassill also chimed in.

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) - The farewell tour for Dale Earnhardt Jr. has officially started. "I just didn't have enough momentum to get back to him, Unfortunately circumstances didn't quite go our way".

"I think you go through that so long that you nearly lose a little - all your confidence".

Can you imagine the weight that's been lifted off Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s shoulders right now?

McMurray finished second in a Chevrolet and was followed by Busch in a Toyota, then Aric Almirola, another Ford driver and victor of the Xfinity Series race Saturday. Being the boyfriend of megawatt personality and fellow competitor Danica Patrick was how most recognized Stenhouse, who had never accumulated more than six top-10 finishes in a season and whose best year-end points ranking was a rather ordinary 19th.