Stenhouse wins O'Reilly Auto Parts 300

Defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s No. 6 Ford took a big early lead – leading 45 of the first 48 laps – fell back but then fought back and won running away with the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.

The victory was Stenhouse's second on the Nationwide Series circuit this season, tying series-points leader Elliott Sadler for most wins this season after six races.

Stenhouse cut Sadler's points lead to four by virtue of the victory, coupled with Sadler's 12th place finish.

After surging to an early lead, Stenhouse found himself in sixth after the race's first restart.

He struggled to find his footing and didn't retake the lead until Lap 180.

“We were very strong [early],” said Stenhouse, who started third. “Then we lost track position on the restart, and it seemed like we really struggled. [Crew chief] Mike Kelly and the guys made the right changes.”

The most important change might have been the one they didn't make on the last pit stop, when Kelly decided against any changes.

Stenhouse said that was a decision he “wasn't fond of.”

“But, he knows what he's doing,” Stenhouse said with a smile.

O'Reilly Auto Parts 300

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 68 laps led

Paul Menard, 100 laps led

Kasey Kahne, 1 lap led

Denny Hamlin, 12 laps led

Austin Dillon, 13 laps led

David Ragan, 2 laps led

Justin Allgaier

Danica Patrick

Michael Annett

Steve Arpin

Sam Hornish Jr.

Elliott Sadler, 4 laps led

Cole Whitt

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Joey Logano

Mike Bliss

Joe Nemechek

Jason Bowles

Mike Wallace

Johanna Long

Kyle Fowler

Kelly Bires

Erik Darnell

Eric McClure

Tayler Malsam

T.J. Bell

Tim Schendel

Timmy Hill

Jeremy Clements

Kurt Busch

Danny Efland

Ryan Truex

Benny Gordon

Robert Richardson Jr.

Brad Keselowski

Blake Koch

Brian Scott

Scott Riggs

Chase Miller

Josh Wise

Scott Speed

Kevin Lepage

Jeff Green

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