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Fresh off NNS win, Stenhouse Jr. preps for Cup debut

A week after claiming his first-career NASCAR Nationwide Series win in the John Deere Dealers of Iowa 250 at Iowa Speedway last Sunday, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is preparing to make his Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He’ll be filling in for Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series teammate Trevor Bayne in the No. 21 car for Wood Brothers Racing in the Cup race.

Obviously, it’s not the circumstances that you want to make your first Sprint Cup start,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “But you grow up dreaming about this moment, and I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to not only make my first start, but to be able to drive the No. 21 Ford of the Wood Brothers in one of the biggest races of the season.”

Bayne won his first Sprint Cup race driving the No. 21 when he claimed victory in the Daytona 500 in February.

Bayne has been out of racing for several weeks, suffering from symptoms such as nausea, double vision and fatigue. He is scheduled to return to Nationwide Series competition next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway and will return to the Sprint Cup Series a couple of weekends later at Michigan International Speedway.

Roush Fenway Sprint Cup driver Matt Kenseth will substitute for Bayne in the Nationwide Series race on Saturday, also at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It will be Kenseth’s 20th Charlotte start in the series.

“Trevor is a very good friend of mine, and he’s going to be around the weekend, and I know that his help with the transition will be instrumental,” Stenhouse Jr. said. Hopefully, we can give him an effort that will make him proud before we turn the car back over to him for the rest of the season.”

The Coca-Cola 600 is scheduled to take the green flag at approximately 6 p.m. ET on Sunday. It can be seen live on FOX, with live television coverage to begin at 5:30 p.m. ET.

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Photo of Wood Brothers Racing's No. 21 Sprint Cup Series car courtesy of NASCAR Media.

21 car


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