After a frankly somewhat disappointing rookie season, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is finally putting some distance on Danica Patrick, his girlfriend/fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie of the year contender.
On the track, that is.
In Saturday night’s wild and controversial Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway, Stenhouse finished 10th, his first top 10 and his best finish in 31 career Sprint Cup Series starts. It was also the third consecutive race in which Stenhouse finished better than he had the week before.
Although his performance was largely overshadowed by the hullabaloo surrounding the finish of the race, which was won by Stenhouse’s teammate, Carl Edwards, its was a huge night for Stenhouse.
For Patrick, not so much.
She finished 30th, the 17th time in 26 races this year that she has finished 25th or worse. And the 20 positions she finished behind Ricky was the biggest gap since Phoenix in February, when he was 16th and she was 39th.
So guess what?
When the series heads to Chicagoland Speedway next weekend for the opening of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Danica’s going to be cooking Ricky his beloved livermush all weekend long.
Scoreboard after 26 races:
Ricky – 20th in points, 0 top fives, 1 top 10, best finish of 10th.
Danica – 27th in points, 0 top fives, 1 top 10, best finish of 8th.