Stenhouse Jr. Leads the Roush Fenway Racing Trio at Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif. (June 28, 2015) – In only his third career Sprint Cup start at the 1.99-mile 11-turn road course, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his Fastenal Ford to a 20th-place finish in today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway.
“We were actually really good on the longer run so Nick thought we should gamble and stay out,” Stenhouse said. “We got a little too loose. If not, I think we could have maintained a top 15. All in all it was a good day for us. We kept it on the track for the most part, didn’t miss any shifts, and we finished the race. It’s our best finish here in a while.”
After struggling with his Fastenal Ford in Saturday’s qualifying session, the two-time XFINITY champion started the 110-lap race in the 40th position but patiently maneuvered his Ford up through the field gaining 11 positions in the first 20 laps.
In the past, the race has come down to fuel mileage and pit strategy. When the final yellow flag waved on lap 99, the Olive Branch, Miss. native was scored in the 20th position. Crew chief Nick Sandler radioed to Stenhouse that he thought they should stay out for the track position if a majority of the field came down pit-road.
Stenhouse Jr. lined up in the fourth position on the final restart but newer tires prevailed forcing Stenhouse to settle with a 20th-place finish.
Next up for Stenhouse and the No. 17 team is the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, July 5. Race coverage begins at 7:00p.m. EST on NBC. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.