Sparta, Ken. (Sept. 22 2012)- Despite leading the race early, an early race pit-road mishap forced Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to battle his way back to a 17th-place finish in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide race at Kentucky Speedway. The misfortune dropped Stenhouse to second in the point standings currently sitting four points behind leader Elliott Sadler.
“Luck was not on our side today,” said Stenhouse. “Our Ford Ecoboost Mustang was stout but we suffered a set-back after the pit-road contact during the competition yellow. Our No. 6 team never gave up and fought back to a 17th-place finish. We will go on to Dover and keep our heads up.”
The 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Champion was on top of the leader board for the first 32 laps before NASCAR displayed the competition caution. Stenhouse brought his No. 6 Ford Ecoboost Mustang to pit-road for two Goodyear tires and fuel, but Stenhouse made contact with the No. 14 machine while exiting pit-road.
The No. 6 team went to work on the mangled front fender which dropped Stenhouse back to the 29th-position for the restart. After the restart on lap 35, the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide rookie of the year charged forward gaining 10 positions in a measly four laps.
On lap 47, Stenhouse’s misfortunes continued when he made contact with the outside turn four wall resulting in a flat right rear tire. After repairing the No. 6 Ford Mustang, Stenhouse was running in the 31st-position and two laps down.
The Olive Branch, Miss. native trudged back through the field and claimed a 17th-place finish in the Kentucky 300.
The No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing team travels to Dover, Del. next weekend for the One Main Financial 200 on Saturday, Sept. 29th. Race coverage begins at 3:00 p.m. EST on ESPN2. The race can also be heard on MRN as well as Sirius channel 90.