BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 17, 2014) - In the backyard of Ford Motor Company and Roush Industries, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. consistently ran in the top-15 for a majority of Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway where he battled a loose handling Zest Ford causing him to lose a few positions in the closing laps to take the checkered flag in the 15th position.
“It was a good solid top-15 finish,” Stenhouse said. “We qualified 10th and finished 15th and ran right around 15th the whole time which is kind of a goal. Obviously we want to run top-10 and pass as many cars as we can but all in all we accomplished what we were looking to do. Our Zest Ford Fusion needs to get better still but I think we made some gains on it this weekend. I look forward to the test tomorrow and hopefully we can learn some more stuff.”
The Olive Branch, Miss. native qualified 10th; his best qualifying effort since Las Vegas where he led the Roush Fenway Racing team with a sixth-place effort.
With much cooler temperatures than anticipated, the two-mile track was fast and with rain overnight it caused a lot of cars to be loose early on in the 200-lap race. The Zest Ford started out too loose for Stenhouse’s liking so the crew went to work making big swings at the machine.
By lap 79, the 2013 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year was the fastest car on the track.
When the final caution waved on lap 178, Stenhouse reported to crew chief Mike Kelley that despite the multiple changes on the last pit stop the Zest Ford was looser in traffic.
The NASCAR Nationwide champion took the final green flag in the 13th position and was jockeying for position on the restart but lost a few positions in the closing laps to take the checkered flag in the 15th position.
Next up for Stenhouse and the No. 17 team is IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, Aug 23. Race coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Coverage can also be heard on PRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.