Last Lap Accident Relegates Stenhouse Jr. To A 19th-Place Finish
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 6, 2015) – On the final green-white-checkered flag attempt of Sunday night’s Coke Zero 400, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. lined up in the 17th position but as cars tangled at the front of the field coming to the checkered Stenhouse settled with a 19th-place finish.
“We just got caught in that logjam there and were trying to pick which lane and no lane was really going anywhere” Stenhouse said. “We were all running right there in the middle and that is where we ended up and got in that last lap crash. We had some damage but missed the big wrecks which definitely helped us out. We wanted a better finish but all in all we will take it. We completed all of the laps which the last two superspeedway races we haven’t done that so this was good.”
After a lengthy rain delay forcing the Coke Zero to be raced in the early morning hours, the two-time XFINITY champion lined up in the 30th position after qualifying was cancelled setting the field by Friday’s first practice session speeds. Stenhouse quickly maneuvered his Fifth Third Ford up to 16th by lap three when the first yellow flag was displayed.
Just past the halfway mark of the 160-lap race, the Olive Branch, Miss. native got some cosmetic damage to his Ford as the No. 42 and No. 19 tangled causing the No. 19 machine to turn up into Stenhouse. The crew worked feverishly to repair the mangled machine.
Despite the damage, the Roush Fenway Racing driver quickly maneuvered his Ford back up inside the top-20 in only eight laps.
With track position being so valuable, crew chief Nick Sandler told Stenhouse to stay out but conserve fuel. With less than 30 laps remaining, the 2013 Rookie of the Year lined up in the 10th position but the outside line stalled causing Stenhouse to lose a few positions before the final caution was displayed setting up a green-white-checkered finish. Stenhouse would ultimately earn a 19th-place finish.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Kentucky Speedway next weekend. The race will be held Saturday, July 11. Coverage will begin at 7:00 p.m. (EST) on NBC Sports.