Stenhouse Continues West Coast Swing in Fontana
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 17 Fastenal Blue Team will look to rebound from the tire problems they had in Phoenix and get back to their early season success at Auto Club Speedway this weekend in the running of the Auto Club 400 Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EST on FOX. The race this weekend marks the third consecutive week Fastenal is the primary sponsor of the 17 and fifth time in six races, NASCAR takes next weekend off before returning on April 3rd at Martinsville Speedway where Stenhouse will once again race the Fastenal Ford.
FRIDAY, MARCH 18:
-- 1:30-2:55 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FS1
-- 7:45 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FS1
SATURDAY, MARCH 19:
-- 11-11:55 a.m.:: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FS2
-- 2:30-3:25 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, FS1 (Follow live)
SUNDAY, MARCH 20:
-- 3:30 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 (200 laps, 400 miles), FOX
Stenhouse Jr. at Auto Club Speedway
• Stenhouse has three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) starts at Auto Club with an average starting position of 26.7 and average finishing position of 23.0.
• Stenhouse has completed 99.7% (613 of 616) of the laps at Auto Club.
• Stenhouse has a total combined (XFINITY and Sprint Cup) seven starts at Auto Club earning two top-10 and two top-five finishes.
Last time at Fontana
After taking the wave around three times to get back on the lead lap, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. charged forward picking up 10 positions in the final nine laps to take the checkered flag in the 15th position.
On the Car
Fastenal is currently in its fifth season as a primary partner in the NSCS for Roush Fenway. They spent three years on the No. 99 before jumping over to the No. 17 entry, and were the primary partner on the No. 60 XFINITY team that captured the owner’s championship in 2011.
Veteran front tire carrier, Ryan McCray, returns to his home track this weekend. McCray grew up in Highland, California which is about 30 minutes from the track.
Stenhouse Jr. on racing at Auto Club:
“I’m really looking forward to racing at Auto Club this weekend because it is different than any track we’ve raced at so far this season. It’s a rough two-mile track, but it’s so wide that it allows you to run multiple grooves. We had a tough race last weekend but you are going to have those weekends and you have to move forward. We’ve all put Phoenix behind us and are ready to get to Fontana and hopefully leave there with another solid finish.”
Nick Sandler on racing at Auto Club:
“The first thing I think about for Fontana is that restarts are going to be phenomenal so I’m really excited for the race this weekend. Ricky’s driving style really suits restarts, and he usually is able to gain a few positions so hopefully we can give him a car that he can make those moves to get to the front. After our great start to the season, last weekend was a disappointment. We’ve put that behind us and are looking forward. We’ve been bringing strong cars each weekend so I’m confident we will have another strong run this weekend.”