Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to honor Bryan Clauson with paint scheme at Bristol

Bristol Motor Speedway is Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s best NASCAR track and in Saturday night's Bass Pro Shops NRA 500, Stenhouse will pay tribute to his late friend and fellow racer Bryan Clauson.

At Bristol, Stenhouse's No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford will carry the same Fastenal paint scheme that the Clauson raced during the 2008 NASCAR XFINITY Series season.

Clauson died Aug. 7 after a crash in the Belleville (Kansas) Midget Nationals one night earlier.

"It will be a huge honor to run the same Fastenal scheme that Bryan raced in 2008," Stenhouse said. "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."

In 2008, Fastenal served as the primary partner for Clauson's No. 40 Chip Ganassi machine. In his 21 starts, he scored one pole award at Daytona International Speedway and one top-five and two top-10 finishes.

"Ricky approached us last week about the opportunity to honor Bryan at Bristol by running the paint scheme we ran with him in 2008," said Brooke Mlsna, vice president of marketing. "We thought it was an admirable tribute to someone we looked at as a valued member of the Blue Team."

Stenhouse's best career finish came at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2014 finishing second behind former Roush Fenway teammate Carl Edwards after an unexpected caution came with two laps remaining followed by a rain shower.

At Bristol, Stenhouse has an average finish of 11.86, best of any driver in the field who's made more than one Cup start at the 0.533-mile, high-banked oval.