I will admit it. I like many other race fans that watch every Sunday that I didn't think Ricky Stenhouse Jr had it in him to win in the elite series of racing. Talladega is known for first winners even with it being the most difficult to master. Ricky for the most part of the race stayed in the top ten. I tweeted that the lead he had would be the only time he would lead and he fell back just like any other driver you see. I even said Aric Almirola would get his second win before Ricky got his first. Aric placed 4th. With top notch consistency and everything going to plan during pit stops, Ricky managed to maintain the top 10 making all my previous arguments questionable. The big one late in the race gobbled up an select amount of elite drivers and let another amount continue to fight on to the finish. Even with 10 laps to go and eventually 2, the caution came out again giving you that feeling of adrenaline and excitement in the overtime. Not knowing the outcome of the end, the shuffling then began to happen where you still were on the edge of your seat of who might take the lead. We all thought whether you're a fan or not Kyle Busch would steal the win just like any other day. Numbers how ever were not on his side as the right drafting partners gave Ricky the boost. A guy who most of ridicule for not being a top performer in the cup series. Whether or not you see this win as a fluke, you're denying that Talladega isn't an easy track to get that first time win. Most argue it's luck, but I see it as a coliseum. For those last laps sat on my couch squirming back and forth pacing my heart beats each turn. Clenching my fists to the couch cushions hoping to God Ricky Stenhouse Jr would stay in front of Kyle Busch and Kyle would lose momentum and Ricky would make the right moves and he did. You had that feeling of ultimate victory seeing the guy shut up every hater and take that checkered flag as if it were his own. That's the definition of an earned win.
All photos used with permission by Nascar Media.