FONTANA, Calif. (March 17, 2019) –Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rallied back after an early-race spin to drive his Fastenal Ford to an 14th-place finish in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Auto Club Speedway.
“We started the race really good,” Stenhouse said. “The later in the race, our Fastenal Ford just got too tight. We gambled there early on but spun out on the restart which set us back all race. We kept fighting and restarted sixth for the final 31 laps but just couldn’t hold on. It was still a decent finish for us overall in the big picture.”
The two-time Xfinity champion started the 200-lap race in the 12th position but quickly bullied his way up front gaining 10 positions in the first five laps. When green flag pit-stops started cycling through, Stenhouse relinquished his seventh-place position to get four tires, fuel, and a chassis adjustment in hopes of helping his loose handling condition. When the caution flag waved on lap 57, Stenhouse was scored in the 17th position.
Crew chief Brian Pattie played strategy telling Stenhouse to stay out where he would restart on the outside row for the one lap shootout to stage end in hopes of gaining valuable stage points. On the restart, the Fastenal Ford spun out in the midst of four wide racing bringing out the caution and the end of stage one.
After multiple pit-stops, the Olive Branch, Miss. native restarted stage two in the 23rd position. With a caution free stage, Stenhouse fell a lap down to the leaders due to an extremely tight condition but was scored the lucky dog when the second green checkered flag waved.
During scheduled green flag pit-stops, the caution flag waved trapping multiple cars a lap down. Stenhouse fortunately hadn’t brought his Fastenal Ford to pit-road scoring the Roush Fenway Racing driver in the third position. The crew worked feverishly on resetting the toe in hopes to help the tightness for the final laps.
Stenhouse Jr. restarted in the sixth position with 31 laps remaining but was unable to hang on forcing him to settle with a 14th-place finish.
Next up for Stenhouse and the No. 17 team is the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, March 24. Race coverage begins at 2:00 p.m. on FOX Sports 1. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.
via Roush Fenway Racing
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 3, 2019) – After earning his third straight top-10 qualifying position, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his Fastenal Ford to a sixth-place finish collecting stage points in all three stages at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m really proud of everyone on our team,” Stenhouse said. “Our Fastenal Ford was really strong all weekend. We executed and didn’t make any mistakes which was key, just an overall great weekend for us. I’m already looking forward to getting to Phoenix.”
With an exciting final round of qualifying with the new package for the year, the Olive Branch, Miss. native rolled off in the eighth position for the 267-lap race where he quickly maneuvered his Ford up to third by lap 39 when he pitted for a scheduled green flag pit-stop. With the stage going caution free, Stenhouse took the green checkered in the sixth position earning valuable stage points.
After restarting stage two in the ninth position, the two-time Xfinity champion maintained that position until bringing his Ford to pit-road for another scheduled stop. Once the field cycled through, Stenhouse was scored in the eighth position when the second green checkered flag waved, once again picking up valuable stage points.
Steadily running in the top-10 for the final 100 laps, crew chief Brian Pattie chose to long pit giving the lead to Stenhouse before bringing his Ford to pit-road for another routine stop. With fresher tires, Stenhouse steadily marched his way forward scoring a sixth-place finish.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team head to Phoenix International Raceway next weekend. Race coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on FOX. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.
via Roush Fenway Racing