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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. throws perfect strike for Red Sox

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With the Boston Red Sox nearly 10 games behind their No. 1 rivals, the American League East-leading New York Yankees, they could use some additional pitching help.

A good southpaw would be a big help.

They got some help on Wednesday – for one pitch at least, that is – as Cup Series driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. threw out the first pitch prior to the game vs. the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

Scouts likely had a few raised eyebrows when Stenhouse threw a perfect strike.


I’ve thrown out first pitches at some minor league games, but Fenway Park puts it at a whole ‘nother level,” Stenhouse told

But Stenhouse, wearing a No. 17 jersey, delivered when it was his turn atop the mound. In a sense, it was a home game for Stenhouse, as Red Sox owner John Henry is a part-owner of Roush Fenway Racing.

Stenhouse and teammate Ryan Newman, who was also in uniform for the game, were in Boston on their way to this weekend’s Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Stenhouse is currently 19th in the standings and with seven races left to make the playoffs, he knows how significant this weekend will be for him.

It’s very important,” Stenhouse told NESN. “New Hampshire could be one of those turning points. We’re 19th in points and need to get to 16th. Or we could win and just lock ourselves in that way, too.

Hopefully, we’ll have a fast enough car and play the right strategy to put ourselves in a position to win. These next few races are definitely critical to us to make sure we do our part. We’ll need somebody else to falter a little bit, but we’re going to go out and do our job and see how things play out.”

And if Stenhouse doesn’t make the playoffs, he might want to keep that pitching arm warm and loose, just in case the Red Sox really need him.


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New England Patriot, ex-Boston Red Sox to play role in upcoming New Hampshire race

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The July 19 Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will have a distinct New England flavor.

The track has announced that pre-race ceremonies for the New Hampshire 301, which airs on NBCSN, will be led by a New England Patriot and a former Boston Red Sox.

Defensive end Rob Ninkovich, who recorded three tackles, including a sack in the Patriots’ 28-24 Super Bowl win in February, will be the honorary pace car driver, leading the 43-car field to the green flag.

“Julian (Edelman) was talking in the locker room about how much fun he had driving the pace car last (July) and he went on to have a career season,” said Ninkovich in a release.

“I thought I’d join in the fun this year. I think it’s going to be awesome to be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in front of all those people, and be a part of the race.”

But before the drivers take to the 1.058-mile track, the invocation will be led by Rico Petrocelli, a two-time American League All-Star who played for the Red Sox for 13 seasons from 1963-1976.

Petrocelli told track officials he got a taste of racing when he would drag race in the offseason, before the Red Sox caught on to it

“It is a tremendous honor to deliver the invocation prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July,” said Petrocelli in a release. “New England is a baseball region, no doubt – this is Red Sox country, after all. But it’s developed into a very knowledgeable racing region, too. I can’t wait to be a part of the show.”