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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rallies for a decent day at Iowa Speedway

By Lee Montgomery
lee.montgomery@nnsracing.com

To say last Saturday was a bad day for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is like saying there’s some corn in Iowa. The young Roush Fenway Racing driver crashed two cars before the U.S Cellular 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race even started, and his crew had to take decals off of Carl Edwards’ No. 60 Ford so Stenhouse Jr. could drive it in the race.

In the race, Stenhouse Jr. sat in an uncomfortable seat built for a man bigger than he is, fought with the handling of the car – and finished a respectable 14th.

"All things considered, we’re happy with that," Stenhouse Jr. said. "It took us a little while to get up to speed with it, which we kind of figured it would. And then we probably had it a little on the tight side, seeing how lost two of ‘em. Everybody at Roush Fenway pulled together and worked really, really hard. Just glad to have a team that’s behind me, and they showed it today. They kept digging hard, and we got a respectable finish out of it considering the circumstances."

After the way the day began, it was more than respectable.

"My confidence level was definitely down," Stenhouse Jr. said. "Obviously, I had to get to the end of this thing."

That was easier said than done, of course. The seat in the car was built for Edwards, who is taller and bulkier than Stenhouse.

"We had to put some padding in the bottom of it so I could see over the dash," Stenhouse Jr. said. "It worked good enough. That’s a product of going to a teammate’s car on one weekend. Definitely going to try to keep that to this time only."

Stenhouse Jr. got a lap down early in the race while he adjusted to the seat and the car, but he and crew chief Mike Kelley made some adjustments and got the No. 6 handling better as the race wore on.

"At the end of the race there, we had a shot for a top-10," Stenhouse Jr. said.