Stenhouse Jr. Scores 29th-Place Finish in Final Race of Round of 12
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Oct. 22, 2017) – In the final race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) Playoffs Round of 12, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. settled with a 29th – place finish after early contact cut the right front tire sending the Fastenal Ford into the outside wall. Stenhouse ended the Round of 12 seeded in the 11th positon.
“We really struggled today with the handling of our Fastenal Ford,” Stenhouse said. “It’s a bummer we couldn’t advance but no one really gave us a chance to make Round of 12. Overall, we have had a great season so we can’t hang our heads. We have four more races to gain as many points as we can and finish off the season strong.”
The Olive Branch, Miss. native rolled off in the 24th position for the 267-lap race. A timely competition yellow due to overnight storms was displayed on lap 30 giving the team a chance to work on the loose handling Fastenal Ford. A caution ended stage one forcing Stenhouse to settle with a 24th-place finish.
Despite the loose handling condition throughout stage two, Stenhouse was able to steadily work his way up through the field and was scored 18th when the yellow flag was displayed three laps shy of the conclusion of stage two. Trying to earn valuable stage points, crew chief Brian Pattie told Stenhouse to stay out for the final one lap shootout. After lining up in the fourth position for the restart, newer tires prevailed shuffling the two-time XFINITY champion back to 17th by the completion of the second stage.
Shortly after going back to green to start stage three, Stenhouse cut a right front tire bringing out the caution. The contact with the wall knocked the toe out of line causing lengthy pit stops to repair the mangled machine. With a handful of late race cautions, Stenhouse was able to pick up a few positions to take the checkered flag in the 29th position.