Stenhouse to start in highest position since 2013
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. signs autographs at Homestead-Miam Speedway in November of 2015.
Photo by Jeremy Thompson/The Racing Experts

By Dominic Aragon
May 29, 2016

CONCORD, N.C.—When Ricky Stenhouse Jr. takes the green flag from third place for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, it will be his highest starting position in 90 races.

Stenhouse’s qualifying effort Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway will mark his best start of 2016 in the Sprint Cup Series and best since a second place starting position at Kansas Speedway in October of 2013.

In qualifying, Stenhouse posted the fourth fastest time in round one (28.306), the third fastest time in round two (28.185), and the third fastest in the third and final round (28.209).

“We’ve had some solid qualifying efforts this year, the speed’s been in the car, our average starting position’s way up so far this year, that’s been good for us,” he said. “We’re going in the right direction. It was cool to see a lot of Fords in the top-ten, and that final round was awesome to see as well.”

Ford will occupy five of the top-ten starting positions Sunday, including the four of the first six positions.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. practices for the Coca-Cola 600.
Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images

Stenhouse’s average starting position in 2016, including his qualifying run on Thursday, sits at 11.8, his best through 13 races in his four full-time seasons. Additionally, Stenhouse has now qualified inside the top-ten consecutively for the last four Sprint Cup events, the longest streak of his career.

“We’re continuing to be better, we want to qualify first every week if we can,” he said. “That’s always the goal, even though sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. That’s the mindset going into every qualifying session, and this year, we’re just a lot closer.”
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