Stenhouse Jr. Battles Back for Top-10 Finish at Dover
DOVER, Del. (Oct. 7, 2018) – After blowing a right front tire, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rebounded to earn a ninth-place finish in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Dover International Speedway.
“We struggled with the handling but we were able to rebound there at the end,” Stenhouse said. “Brian Pattie made some great calls on pit strategy to get us in position there late in the race to get the lucky dog and then be able to battle with those guys at the end. Overall it was a decent day for our Fastenal Ford.”
After rain cancelled qualifying setting the lineup by points, the Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up for the 400-lap race in the 21st position and steadily worked his forward. Crew chief Brian Pattie chose to keep the Fastenal Ford out longer than leaders allowing Stenhouse to maintain the lead for seven laps before hitting pit-road for a scheduled pit-stop. With a caution free stage one, Stenhouse closed out the stage in the 21st position.
After taking the wave around during the stage break, the two-time Xfinity champion lined up in the 18th position for the next 120-lap stage. Despite battling an ill-handling machine, Stenhouse was able to gain two positions taking the green checkered at the end of stage two in the 16th position.
With less than 100 laps remaining, a right front tire blew on the No. 17 Fastenal machine sending him into the wall and causing him to forfeit a lap to the leaders. Luckily a much needed caution was displayed allowing Stenhouse to get back one of his laps.
After getting himself into the lucky dog position, the caution flag waved allowing him to get back on the lead lap. With a multitude of cautions late in the race which eventually sent the race into over-time, Stenhouse was able to bully his way back to earn a top-10 finish.