Late wreck ends hope of top-5 finish for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in dirt track race

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Going back to his midget car roots, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. shook off a couple of late-race mishaps to finish eighth in Saturday’s fifth annual Great Clips Battle at the Center at the Southern Illinois Center of the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds.

Joey Saldana of Brownsburg, Indiana, led the last five laps of the 40-lap main event around the 1/6-mile racetrack to take home the victory in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series event.

Bryan Clauson finished second, followed by Justin Peck, Spencer Bayston, Daniel Robinson, Andrew Felker, Kevin Ramey, Stenhouse, Tim Siner and Jody Rosenboom.

On Lap 26, as Stenhouse tried to make a run for the lead, he was involved in a four-car tangle involving race leader Clauson, Christopher Bell (running second at the time) and 2012 POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series champ Andrew Felker.

While the other three drivers would continue on, Bell’s car was wrecked beyond repair and he retired from the event at that point.

With three laps left in the race, Stenhouse was collected in a six-car pileup that ended his hopes of a top-five finish, but still managed to wind up with a decent eighth-place showing in the 21-car field.

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