MARTINSVILLE, V.A. (March 24, 2019) – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. battled through 500 grueling laps at Martinsville Speedway to finish 25th in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at the half-mile track.
The two-time Xfinity Series Champion started the race from the 24th position in his Fastenal Ford Mustang and immediately began working his way forward. By the first caution of the race on lap 65, Stenhouse had navigated to the 19th spot. It was then that crew chief Brian Pattie brought the Ford Mustang down pit road for the first pit stop of the day.
The handling of the Fastenal Mustang soon began to deteriorate, with Stenhouse complaining of a tight-handling race car. The Mississippian began to fade backwards in the pack, ultimately giving way to the leaders and falling one lap down just before the end of the first stage. As the first car not on the lead lap, Stenhouse received the lucky dog and would restart for the second stage from the 25th position, but on the lead lap.
Stenhouse struggled to improve his position from that point on, and the handling of his car continued to present issues for the team. He would lose a lap again to the leaders before the end of the second stage at lap 260, taking the green-white checkered flag 26th.
A stellar pit stop from the Fastenal crew put Stenhouse back into the lucky dog position, but an extended green flag run left him unable to capitalize on the free pass. He would ultimately fall a second lap down to the leaders and finish the 500 lap race 25th.
Next up for Stenhouse and the No. 17 team is the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 31. Race coverage begins at 3:00 p.m. on FOX. Coverage can also be heard on PRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.
via Roush Fenway Racing
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
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