Montreal, Canada (Aug. 19, 2011) - The NASCAR Nationwide series headed across the border to Canada for Saturday’s NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve; the last road race of the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide season. Roush Fenway’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was strong and in contention for the win late in the race. On the first green-white-checkered flag attempt at lap 76, Stenhouse was right on the bumper of leader Jacques Villeneuve jockeying for the lead. The duo made contact causing the No. 6 Ford Ecoboost Mustang to spin off the course.
Stenhouse brought his mangled No. 6 Ford Ecoboost Mustang to pit road for four fresh Goodyear and fuel. The Olive Branch, Mississippi native restarted in the 22nd-position for the final green-white-checkered attempt and bullied through the field overtaking ten cars in two laps. Stenhouse took the checkered flag in the 12th-position.
“We were so close,” Stenhouse said after the race. “I was trying to stay with Jacques (Villeneuve) so that I could make my move on the final lap but I got into the corner a tad hot and spun. My No. 6 Ford Ecoboost Ford was stout. Montreal is a tough track and to run up in the top-ten for a majority of the day was awesome.”
The 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Champion started the NAPA Auto Parts 200 in the 16th position and by lap 23 he was running in the seventh position. After numerous cautions, Stenhouse was running in the fifth position with 10 laps remaining.
When the caution flag waved on lap 71, crew chief Mike Kelley chose to stay out and told Stenhouse to conserve fuel knowing that the scheduled 74-lap race was subject to go into overtime. The spin forced by the fierce battle between Villeneuve and Stenhouse took the fuel strategy option away from the No. 6 team.
Stenhouse and the No. 6 team travel to Bristol for the Food City 250 next Friday night, August 24th. Race coverage starts at 7 pm EDT on ESPN. The race can also be heard on MRN as well as Sirius channel 90.