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LAS VEGAS (AP) - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. quickly learned an important lesson in his race with girlfriend Danica Patrick for NASCAR's rookie of the year award.

After on-track battles between the two led to at least two accidents, Stenhouse figured out it was best to always take the blame.

"Battles are tough, especially when you are going against your girlfriend," Stenhouse said.

Stenhouse accepted the 2013 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year award Thursday during the annual Myers Brothers awards ceremony.

The two-time Nationwide Series champion finished 19th in the Cup standings, while Patrick finished 27th.

"We've had a few run-ins, which resulted in one really quiet ride home," Stenhouse said. "And I learned real quick that if there's a question it could be my fault, it's better to go ahead and just apologize and get it over with.

"But all in all, we had a lot of fun this year."


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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