After leading the Roush Fenway Racing qualifying efforts on Sunday by posting the fifth overall fastest time, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had to drop to the rear of the field due to gear change after Wednesday’s practice. After restarting 16th with 12 laps remaining in the 60 lap race, Stenhouse Jr. teamed up with teammate Greg Biffle and took the checkered flag in the 10th position of the first of two Can-Am Duels at Daytona International Speedway.
“It went according to plan,” Stenhouse said. “We had a plan to ride in the back since we started back there, and we just really wanted to ride and keep our Fastenal Ford in one piece. If we caught a yellow towards the end of the race then we would go up and run and try to get up in there and get the best starting spot possible without taking a risk too bad to damage the car. We did everything exactly as planned. We wanted to finish a little bit better, but we’ll take another top 10. I thought we worked really well as a team and I think that’s pretty important, especially looking at Sunday. Our Fastenal Ford handles well and it is really fast, so I’m looking forward to Sunday.”
The Olive Branch, Miss. native started the 60-lap shootout at the rear of the field due to a gear change. All three Roush Fenway Racing Fords worked together to ensure they kept their Fords clean for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
Shortly after green flag pit stops cycled through, the No. 98 machine spun in front of Biffle and Stenhouse causing the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year to slide his tires to avoid the spinning machine.
As a precaution, crew chief Nick Sandler called Stenhouse to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires. With 12 laps remaining, the two-time XFINITY champion restarted in the 16th position but quickly linked up with his teammate Greg Biffle. The duo worked the top lane resulting in a 10th-place finish for Stenhouse.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team will start the Daytona 500 in the 19th position. The 500 is set for Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. EST, and will be televised live on FOX. The race can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.