With very few cautions in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Dover International Raceway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. battled for 400-laps in his Fastenal Ford to earn a 16th-place finish.
“With the race going green for so long, it was hard to get back on the lead lap,” Stenhouse said. “Our Fastenal Ford was decent but it was just so hard to pass. Our goal for the final seven races was to complete each race without making mistakes and we did that today.”
After going out early in Saturday’s qualifying session, the Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up in the 19th position for the 400-lap race. When the first yellow flag was displayed on lap seven, Stenhouse was scored in the 19th position reporting his Ford fired off decent. With the remainder of the stage going green, Stenhouse was battling for the lucky dog position but eventually took the first green checkered in the 17th position.
Crew chief Brian Pattie brought Stenhouse to pit-road for four tires, fuel, and a chassis adjustment during stage break in hopes for a quick caution in stage two allowing them to earn the lucky dog position among the four cars Stenhouse was battling one-lap down. Unfortunately, the second stage went caution free forcing the Roush Fenway Racing driver to take the second green checkered in the 18th position.
After another chassis adjustment during the stage break to help with ill-handling machine, Stenhouse was running top-five comparable lap times. With the final 160 laps going caution free at a one-mile track that track position is key, Stenhouse settled with a 16th-place finish.
Next up for Stenhouse and the No. 17 team is Talladega Superspeedway. Race coverage begins Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUSXM Channel 90.