“Definitely not the day we were hoping for,” Stenhouse said after the race. “If the caution flag would have came out one lap sooner we would have been on the lead lap and had an opportunity to gain some positions at the end. Our Fastenal Ford struggled with the balance but we will move on and head to Phoenix, a short track that we’ve been competitive.”
After battling a loose machine in qualifying on Friday night, the Olive Branch, Mississippi native started the 334-lap race in the 28th position but steadily worked his way up through the field before the competition yellow was displayed on lap 25 due to practice being rained out on Saturday.
Despite battling a machine that lacked front turn, the two-time XFINITY champion was able to gain eight positions in 57 laps.
With a long green flag run late in the race, Stenhouse was scored one lap down with less than a hundred laps remaining. Crew chief Nick Sandler asked Stenhouse to stretch his fuel in hopes of a needed caution to get back on the lead lap as the leaders had already pitted under the green flag conditions.
As he was leaving pit-road, the caution flag was displayed trapping Stenhouse two laps down. After taking the wave around Stenhouse lined up in the 21st position for the final restart, but the race stayed green forcing Stenhouse to settle with a 21st place finish.