After the tragic passing of Bryan Clauson last week, drivers throughout the motorsports world have paid tribute to Clauson in various ways and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. will get the chance to pay tribute with a special paint scheme in Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Stenhouse and Clauson both share the same sponsor in Fastenal, with the company currently sponsoring Stenhouse’s No. 17 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the company serving as sponsor for Clauson during the 2008 NASCAR Xfinity Series season when he piloted the No. 40 Dodge for Chip Ganassi Racing. With the common sponsor between them, the opportunity arose for Stenhouse to drive the same Fastenal scheme that Clauson drove back in 2008 in this weekend’s race.
“It will be a huge honor to run the same Fastenal scheme that Bryan raced in 2008. This past week has been difficult for many but it has been great to see the racing community join together to support Bryan’s family, friends and Lauren. Bryan was one of my best friends and hopefully we can ‘parked it’ in victory lane on Saturday for Bryan,” said Stenhouse.
In 21 starts with the scheme, Clauson scored the pole at Daytona, as well as capturing one top-five finish and two top-10 finishes.
With the tribute paint scheme on his car at Bristol, Stenhouse will be looking to score his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at a track where he has come close to winning in the past. In seven starts at the track, Stenhouse has two top-five finishes, three top-10 finishes, and an average finish of 11.9, which is highest among active drivers with more than one start.
“Ricky approached us last week about the opportunity to honor Bryan at Bristol by running the paint scheme we ran with him in 2008. We thought it was an admirable tribute to someone we looked at as a valued member of the Blue Team,” said Brooke Mlsna, vice president of marketing.
— Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (@StenhouseJr) August 16, 2016