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Stenhouse Jr. helps to fix his own car

October 25, 2013, Zack Albert,

Rookie digs in, helps team patch up No. 17 Ford

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- For Ricky Stenhouse Jr., picking up tools and getting his hands dirty seemed like the right thing to do.

Rather than sulk after bopping the Turn 2 wall with his right-rear fender during opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Martinsville Speedway, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender mobilized and jumped in to help his Roush Fenway Racing crew with the repairs.

"When you mess it up, you gotta help fix it," Stenhouse said after his qualifying lap. "When you just walk around and go back into the trailer, that doesn't sit too well with them. We got out to help fix it, and I did all I knew how to do. I let them finish it up."

The repair work was almost a nod back to Stenhouse's earliest days in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, where a flurry of wrecks led team co-owner Jack Roush to put his driver on bodywork detail. 

By the time his qualifying lap rolled around Friday, almost three hours after his incident, his No. 17 Ford was clearly patched with a makeshift panel spray-painted white. But the car was plenty track-worthy, and he improved upon his practice time to qualify 20th for Sunday's Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 (1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

"Yeah, not bad," Stenhouse said as he admired the handiwork from him and his crew. "We've got some decals we'll finish putting on it and make it look a lot better."


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