It's raining sixes for Stenhouse in Kansas

Ricky Stenhouse came from two laps down in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford to claim victory in the Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday. The win was his sixth of 2012 and pulled him to within six points of series points leader Elliott Sadler in the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

"We were doing a lot of praying, trying to get two laps, there," Stenhouse said of his battle back toward the front.

Made a mistake there, trying to get some debris off the grill.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

As several drivers ran out of gas in the final laps of the race that had a green-white-checker finish after a race record 12 cautions, Austin Dillon finished second in the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, and Joey Logano was third in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

With Dillon's second-place finish, Chevrolet captured the Nationwide Series manufacturer's title for the 15th time.

"Chevrolet is honored to win the 2012 Bill France Performance Cup, and capture the Manufacturers' Championship in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the 15th time,” Chevrolet US Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell said in a statement. “Our success is the result of dedication and determination of our Nationwide Series team owners, crew chiefs and their crews as well as the drivers giving it their all on the track. We salute the efforts of everyone who worked tirelessly to bring this award to Chevrolet."

Logano started on the pole and led the way until the second caution of the race came out on lap 32. Logano, along with most others on the lead lap, headed down pit road while Stenhouse stayed out and inherited the lead.

Stenhouse also stayed out the next time the caution came out to hold on to his position up front. With the large number of cautions, pit strategies varied, putting drivers on a multitude of pit cycles. Through it all, Paul Menard wound up keeping his car out front for the most laps, leading 110-circuits, just over half of the race.

Austin Dillon
Austin Dillon

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

While Logano ran at or near the front in the early stages of the race, his JGR teammate, Brian Scott in the No. 11 Toyota, had a hard time keeping his car pointed in the right direction. Scott's car was running with an experimental setup, and it was an experiment that looked to be a failure. Spins by Scott were responsible for three early-race caution, with the final one resulting in hard impact with the wall on lap 57.

Stenhouse and Logano made heavy contact a few laps later. According to Stenhouse and his crew chief, Mike Kelley, Stenhouse was trying to get debris of the grill of his car but then changed his mind and decided to pass Logano when he decided that the debris was not going to come off. While trying to complete the pass, Stenhouse's car moved up on Logano, sustaining heaving damage and pushing Logano's car into the wall, also causing significant damage to the No. 18.

"Made a mistake there, trying to get some debris off the grill," Stenhouse said. "I thought it was over."

Logano acknowledged after the race that he didn't have a car capable of winning anyway, but it didn't ease the frustration that stemmed from the contact.

"It's frustrating," Logano said. "We didn't have a car to win this thing anyway, but neither did the No. 6. It just happened that way."

Logano wound up going a lap down after the incident, and Stenhouse fell to two laps down. Logano got back on the lead lap on a later caution, and Stenhouse eventually got back on the lead lap by first taking a wave-around during a yellow and later getting a free pass under caution.

Joey Logano
Joey Logano

Photo by: Adriano Manocchia

Stenhouse got back on the lead lap during a caution that came out with 39 laps to go. After getting back on the lead lap, he headed down pit road to get enough fuel to go the rest of the way. A few other drivers headed down pit road during another yellow flag that waved with 29 laps to go, but race front runners like Menard, Sam Hornish Jr. in the No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge and Kyle Busch in the No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota opted to stay out and hoped the high number of caution laps would enable them to stretch their fuel mileage the rest of the way.

While those in fuel conservation mode were happy to see cautions that helped them stretch their fuel, the final one came out late enough to be a detriment to their causes. The yellow flag came out for the 12th time with three laps to go, adding laps onto the scheduled race distance.

Menard and Hornish ran out under the caution, while Busch looked to be on his way to his first Nationwide win as an owner/driver. Busch, however, ran out of gas after taking the white flag for the final lap, putting Stenhouse into the lead.

"I ran out in the middle of (turns) three and four," Busch said. "That's our year. Oh well, you get defeated sometimes."

Sadler finished second after battling an ill-handling race car for much of the event, and Cole Whitt rounded out the top-five in the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.

Busch coasted across the start/finish line to finish sixth. Seventh through 10th were Justin Allgaier in the No. 31 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet, Michael Annett in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, Hornish and Danica Patrick in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.

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About this article
Drivers Richard Petty , Paul Menard , Elliott Sadler , Justin Allgaier , Jim Campbell , Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , Joey Logano , Michael Annett , Cole Whitt , Brian Scott , Austin Dillon , Mike Kelley , Sam Hornish Jr. , Danica Patrick , Kyle Busch
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Team Penske , Richard Petty Motorsports , Roush Fenway Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing , Turner Motorsport , JR Motorsports , Kyle Busch Motorsports
Article type Race report
Tags dillon, featured, kansas, logano, roush, stenhouse, vincent