Stenhouse Jr. Finishes 31st in Season Opener After Being Collected in Late-Race Accident
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 26, 2017) – After blowing both front tires early on in the 59th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was caught up in a late race accident with 63 laps remaining forcing him to settle with a 31st-place finish.
“We were two laps down because we had a couple of issues throughout the beginning of the race,” Stenhouse said. “Our Fastenal Ford was still plenty fast. We didn’t really have any damage and was finally in a position to where we could start getting some lucky dogs and get back on the lead lap. I felt like if we could have done that, we would have been all right.
“We were just running around the top and I just got hit in the left-rear. I’m not really sure what happened below us, but it was a bummer of a day. I thought we brought some really fast Fords down here and just hate that we didn’t really get a result to show for it. We’ll go on to Atlanta next weekend and get ready to go racing.”
The Olive Branch, Mississippi native took the green flag in the 23rd position, and was patiently working his way forward until he sustained damage to his Fastenal Ford when the gap closed as he moved to the middle lane making contact with the No. 38 and No. 27 machines.
After taking the wave around to get one lap back, the two-time XFINITY champion was just about to hit pit-road for fuel when the caution flag was displayed costing him to lose a lap to the leaders.
As he was marching his way forward in the high line, contact in the low line caused a multi-car accident collecting the Fastenal Ford and ultimately ending his day with the new NASCAR crash policy.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend for the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500. The race will be Sunday, March 5 with coverage beginning at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on FOX.