Avondale, Ariz. (November 11, 2013) - After fighting an ill-handling machine during Friday and Saturday’s practice sessions, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rallied from a 27th starting position to earn a stout 12th-place finish in the AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway; moving up two positions in driver’s point standings to 18th.
“That was a great race for us,” Stenhouse said. “We really struggled from the time we unloaded but Scott (Graves) did a great job making strategy calls to get us track position. Overall that was a great day for our No. 17 team.”
When the final yellow flag was displayed with less than 30 laps remaining in the 312-lap race, crew chief Scott Graves called the rookie to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires and fuel since there was only 20 cars on the lead lap.
On the final restart, the two-time NASCAR Nationwide champion restarted in the 19th position and bullied his way through the field gaining seven positions in the final 25 laps. Stenhouse Jr. took the checkered flag in the 12th-position; the highest finishing Roush Fenway Racing Ford.
After struggling with an ill-handling race car during Friday’s qualifying session, the Olive Branch, Miss. native started in the 27th position but slowly maneuvered his ‘We are Driven’ Ford up through the field as the race progressed. The rookie ranked solidly in the top-20 for a majority of the race duration.
Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 17 team head to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the final race of the 2013 season. The Ford Ecoboost 400 begins at 3:00p.m.on ESPN. Coverage can also be heard on PRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.