Stenhouse Jr. Earns 13th-Place Finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 11, 2015) – After rain pushed the normal night race to Sunday afternoon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his Juicy Juice Ford to a 13th-place finish in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“That was a solid run for us,” Stenhouse said. “Qualifying we were too loose which hurt us in advancing to round 2 but I knew we had a strong Juicy Juice Ford. The No. 17 team did a great job on pit road and we were able to gain a few positions there because it was difficult to pass. We are getting stronger and definitely improving. After our weekend, I’m definitely looking forward to Kansas.”
At the same track where he got his first career NSCS start in 2011, the two-time XFINITY champion started the 334-lap race in the 25th position after barely missing round two due to having the same speed as the No. 47 machine. Despite the difficulty in passing, Stenhouse Jr. maneuvered his Juicy Juice Ford inside the top-20 by lap 50.
Shortly after taking the green flag on lap 189, Stenhouse Jr. radioed to crew chief Nick Sandler that he made contact with the outside wall due to oil still being on the track from the previous caution. Luckily a caution flag waved four laps later allowing the team to survey the damage to the right side of the Juicy Juice Ford.
With the repairs completed, the Olive Branch, Miss. native returned to the track in the 21st position. Despite the damage, the Juicy Juice Ford was still fast running similar lap times as the leaders.
After earning the lucky dog on the last caution of the race, Stenhouse Jr. restarted at the tail end of the field but patiently maneuvered his Ford up through the field picking up five positions within 30 laps.
With the race staying green for the final 88 laps, Stenhouse Jr. gained seven positions in the final laps to take the checkered flag in the 13th position, earning his fifth straight top-20 finish of the 2015 NSCS season.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Kansas Speedway on Oct. 18, 2015 for the Hollywood Casino 400. Race coverage starts at 2:00 pm EST on NBC.