Ricky Stenhouse Jr. scores big USAC Midget win over Bryan Clauson

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. scored an impressive USAC Midget victory Friday night with girlfriend Danica Patrick cheering him on. 

Rainier Ehrhardt

The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season was not too kind to Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr., but the former XFINITY Series champion was able to celebrate a victory before the end of the calendar year.

While other drivers are enjoying downtime during the NASCAR offseason, Stenhouse went back to his roots to compete in the Junior Knepper 55 USAC Midget event at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Illinois. 

Involved in an accident on the opening lap, Stenhouse was forced to work his way from the back of the pack. While team owner Bryan Clauson and USAC ace Joey Saldana battled for the lead, Stenhouse kept fighting through the traffic. Getting his chance on the final restart, Stenhouse and Clauson battled for the lead over the final laps. Taking the lead with three laps to go, Stenhouse was able to hang on to earn the win.

Stenhouse’s girlfriend, Sprint Cup Series driver Danica Patrick, was on hand and proud of his hard racing throughout. 

There ya go babe!

A photo posted by Danica Patrick (@danicapatrick) on

But the hang time was even better! @stenhousejr

A video posted by Danica Patrick (@danicapatrick) on

Winner winner chicken dinner!!!!!! From last after getting collected in a wreck to first! 🏆🏁☝🏼

A video posted by Danica Patrick (@danicapatrick) on