Stenhouse Qualifies 4th for Sunday’s Monster Energy Cup Race at Atlanta
HAMPTON, Ga. (March 3, 2017) – Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. covered the 1.54-mile oval of Atlanta Motor Speedway in his No. 17 SunnyD Ford Fusion in 29.356 seconds (188.854 mph) during the third and final round of Friday’s qualifying session to earn a fourth-place starting position in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
“Last year Trevor and I had really good races here,” said Stenhouse. “We both qualified in the top-10 and we felt like in practice we had a good SunnyD Ford and it was all about hoping the Goodyears would stay on it. This track is so abrasive and every run you make on tires just kills it. We didn’t make a whole lot of qualifying runs in practice just because we knew it was going to cool off and the track wouldn’t be exactly the same and we wanted to save some sets for tomorrow.
“In qualifying, our first run was decent and the second run was not as good, kind of like Trevor said,” added Stenhouse. “I used too much brake on entry of one and couldn’t see the wall. I kind of backpedaled and lost two-tenths down there to Newman. The last round we made some really good adjustments. (Crew Chief) Brian (Pattie) did an awesome job with the adjustments we made and it drove the best in the last round, which is all you can ask for. We ran our fastest lap that we had run in the whole qualifying session. I am really happy with qualifying. Now we have to make sure we have a good long run car.”
Fellow teammate Trevor Bayne advanced to the second round of qualifying action and will start his Liberty National Ford from the 15th position on Sunday.
“My first run was really good – I was pumped,” said Bayne. “We were way faster than practice and it was good. Ricky has been putting it on me so far this weekend by about two-tenths but then he came back the next round and was rolling. I kind of messed up. I feel my car had more potential than what I got out of it. In that second round the sun was so bad and I jumped on the brakes and that cost us a couple tenths. I am sure everybody did that. We have a really fast Fusion and I hope we can take advantage of it for the whole weekend.”
Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (325 laps, 500.05 miles) is set for 2:30 p.m. ET and will be televised live on FOX.