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NASCAR America: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Team looking for ‘last gain’ that puts them in top five

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. talks about how Dale Jr's love of the sport impacted his own career and discusses his top-10 finish at Bristol, his third top 10 in eight races.

After the Auto Club 400 earlier this year, Dale Earnhardt Jr. got out of his car and beat on the window of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s No. 17 Ford.

Stenhouse thought Earnhardt was mad at him. It turns out Earnhardt had just really enjoyed racing against Stenhouse.

The Roush Fenway Racing driver recounted the story to NASCAR America’s Kelli Stavast in a discussion about his team’s improved performance this year. That includes earning his third top 10 of the season last Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Stenhouse needs three more top 10s to match his total from last season, which is a career high.

The driver of the No. 17 Ford attributes his team’s improvement to his crew chief Brian Pattie and the work of the aero department.

“We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Stenhouse said. “I feel like we have made to gain. But to get that last gain we’re looking for, where we’re running top fives, top 10s all the time, it’s hard to get past those cars in front of us that we’re looking for.”

Watch the video for the full interview.