In the final road course race of the 2016 season, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. worked his way inside the top-20 when his Ford Ecoboost Ford spun suffering heavy damage from the impact. The wreckage could not be repaired, forcing Stenhouse to settle with a 38th-place finish in the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International.
“We were just hustling hard on that restart and got loose over the curb and spun,” Stenhouse said. “From that point we were just along for the ride. It looked like everybody scattered and it was probably pretty hard to see. We got hit pretty hard. The guys gave me a fast car. We had some issues yesterday in qualifying that put us toward the back and we were fighting all day to get back up there.
“It is frustrating but we have to look at the positives. This is the most competitive our team has been on a road course. I have never really been good on the road courses and too have some speed this weekend is definitely encouraging.”
After qualifying in the 30th-starting position, Stenhouse Jr. gained nine positions by lap 20 and was running comparable lap times to the top-10 cars.
When the caution was displayed on lap 47, crew chief Nick Sandler called the Olive Branch, Miss. native to pit-road for four tires and fuel since they weren’t inside their fuel window to make it to the end. The No. 48 machine stopped short in the box forcing the team to push the No. 17 backwards so Stenhouse could exit without making contact with the No. 48.
After losing track position due to a pit-road mishap, the two-time NASCAR XFINITY champion gained three positions in one lap but the No. 17 Ford got loose off the curb sending the machine spinning in front of the pack. The damage was too severe to repair forcing Stenhouse to settle with a 38th-place finish.