Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and JTG Daugherty Racing needed the kind of day Monday’s rain-delayed Cup Series race turned out to be en route to finishing second at Dover Motor Speedway.
The No. 47 team executed a clean race. Stenhouse didn’t lead a lap, but ran inside the top 10 all afternoon and earned points in the second stage by placing fifth. Dover is the most points (41) Stenhouse has earned in a race this season.
“Man, it’s been a rough start to the season,” Stenhouse said. “Our short track program has been off. All of our other good races that we’ve had good runs going, something has always happened. Really good to put this all together. 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.
“This feels good. Hopefully, we can carry this momentum on. The big tracks, the tracks we’ve got coming forward, are really good tracks for us. 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 there. All in all, our Kroger team is doing a great job, looking forward to carrying that momentum on.”
Dover is Stenhouse’s second top-10 finish of the season He entered the weekend 31st in the standings because of eight finishes of 27th or worse and four DNFs.
“Our team has been putting together really good race cars,” Stenhouse said. “A lot of our good races, we’ve had issues. We have been good on some of the bigger tracks. Our short-track program is definitely off a little bit, but it was an awesome day. 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. 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.”