HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2018) –In the season finale of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his Fastenal Ford to a 16th– place finish despite battling an ill-handling machine. In 2018, Stenhouse scored three top-five and five top-10 finishes.
“We just struggled today during the race,” Stenhouse said. “Overall the weekend was a positive for our No. 17 team. We qualified in the top-10 and felt good about our car in race trim but just struggled once the sun went down. Overall this has been a great season for our team, and we know what we need to work on to be competitive for 2019.”
After qualifying in the top-10 two consecutive weeks, the Olive Branch, Miss. native rolled off in the ninth position where he steadily ran in the top-15 despite battling an ill-handling machine. With a caution free stage one, Stenhouse took the green-checkered flag in the 15thposition.
After restarting in the 13th position for the second 80-lap stage, the two-time Xfinity champion worked his way up to the 12th position when the caution flag waved on lap 139. During the caution, crew chief Brian Pattie elected to bring the Fastenal Ford to pit-road for four tires, fuel, and a chassis adjustment in hopes to help with front turn. Stenhouse lined up in the 12th position for the 16-lap shootout to the end of the stage but fell to 16th by the time the green checkered waved due to lacking overall grip.
After the team made multiple changes to the Fastenal Ford as the race went from day to night, Stenhouse continued to battle an ill-handling machine forcing him to settle with a 16th-place finish in the season finale.
Via Roush Fenway Racing
FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 4, 2018) – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. overcame a pit-road penalty to earn an 11th-place finish in Sunday’ Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
“Our Fastenal Ford was really strong all weekend,” Stenhouse said. “After leading final practice yesterday, I was really looking forward to the race. Luckily we were able to get back on the lead lap there at the end and be able to contend in the final green white checkered finish. Overall it was a good weekend for our No. 17 team.”
After barely missing the final round of qualifying on Friday, the two-time Xfinity Series Champion started the 334-lap race in the 15thposition but quickly maneuvered his Fastenal Ford inside the top-10 by lap 10. When the competition yellow waved on lap 30 for rain overnight, Stenhouse was scored in the 10th position. After taking two tires, the Roush Fenway Racing driver lost a few positions when the remainder of the stage went caution free taking the green checkered in the 11th position.
The two-time Xfinity champion started stage two in the 10th position but dropped to 16th on the restart after being caught in the outside lane. Later in the run, Stenhouse bullied his way forward working his way inside the top-10 by lap 133. During a scheduled green flag pit-stop, the team was penalized with an uncontrolled tire forcing Stenhouse to serve a pass-thru penalty and costing him to lose a lap to the leaders. When the green checkered waved at the end of stage two, the Olive Branch, Miss. native was scored in the 20th position.
When the caution flag waved on lap 306, Stenhouse was scored in the lucky dog position allowing him to get back on the lead lap. When the caution flag waved sending the race into overtime, Stenhouse lined up in the 15th position for the final green white checkered picking up four positions in the closing laps to take the checkered flag in the 11th position.
Next weekend Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to ISM Raceway for the Can-Am 500. Race coverage begins at 2:30 pm ET on NBC.
Via Roush Fenway Racing