Stenhouse Jr. Finishes 36th After Late Race Accident
HAMPTON, Ga. (March 1, 2015)– After blowing a right rear tire in the first 25 laps of Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. battled his way back up to 22nd before being collected in a multi-car accident with less than 20 laps to go, resulting in a 36th-place finish.
“I think the No. 34 and the No. 16 got together,” Stenhouse said. “I was committed to the top and got on the brakes and got in the back of the No. 15 which was down on power. There was a lot of smoke and somebody was in front of me as I was still on the brake which ended our day. Our Fifth Third Ford wasn’t as good as what we wanted. We were running in the back after blowing our right rear tire and had gotten a little better throughout the day, just not as good as what we wanted.”
After advancing to the second round of qualifying on Friday, the Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up in the 20th position and gained 12 spots in the first 10 laps of the 325-lap race. As his right rear tire slowly came apart, Stenhouse was able to hold on until the competition yellow was displayed on lap 25 for rain that occurred overnight.
After the crew repaired the right rear fender, the two-time XFINITY champion restarted in the 37th position but was still on the lead lap. As the race progressed, the Fifth Third Ford was equally loose as tight but Stenhouse was still able to maneuver his Ford inside the top-25 in the closing laps.
On the restart on lap 304, Stenhouse lined up in the 22nd position and was making gains in the outside line. When the No. 16 and No. 34 machines tangled, Biffle spun creating a smoke wall inhibiting Stenhouse to see the slowed No. 15 and multiple cars spinning ahead.
With less than 20 laps remaining, the mangled Fifth Third machine could not be repaired forcing Stenhouse to settle with a 36th-place finish.
Next up for Stenhouse and the No. 17 team is the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 8. Race coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX. Coverage can also be heard on PRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.