On the final green-white-checkered attempt of the 57th running of the Daytona 500, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. lined up in the 14th position behind teammate Greg Biffle but on the final lap contact was made between the No. 3 and No. 24 machines collecting Stenhouse forcing him to take the checkered flag in the 29th position.
“We should have had a solid finish in our Fastenal Ford,” Stenhouse said. “On the last lap, some cars made contact and we were four wide and ended up being involved in the wreck. I’m definitely bummed because my guys worked really hard this week but it’s just the first race and we will rebound next weekend.”
In the first half of the 200-lap race, the two-time XFINITY champion fell back to the rear of the field due to debris on his grille. Fortunately when he was about to bring the Fastenal Ford to pit-road for service, the water temperatures began to fall allowing him to stay on the same pit cycle as the leaders.
As the laps were dwindling down, the Olive Branch, Miss. native maneuvered his Ford up inside the top-15. With less than 20 laps remaining, Stenhouse worked the high line with drafting help from Biffle and Earnhardt Jr. but the top groove never could get even with the leaders.
When the final caution flag waved setting up the green-white-checkered, Stenhouse Jr. lined up once again behind teammate Biffle and the duo teamed up to try to go for the win but two cars tangled in front of the Fastenal machine forcing Stenhouse into the outside wall resulting in a 29th-place finish.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Atlanta next weekend for the Quik Trip Folds of Honor 500. The race will be Sunday, March 1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Coverage will begin at 1:00 p.m. (EST) on FOX.