After steadily running in the top-10 for a majority of Sunday’s Fold of Honors Quik Trip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his SunnyD Ford to a 13th-place finish after sustaining damage on the final restart.
“Our SunnyD Ford was strong all weekend,” Stenhouse said. “We weren’t really good for the first couple of laps of a run, but we could gain some of it back later in the run. I’m disappointed because I think we should have had a top-10 finish. It was a strong testament of our Fords with Trevor (Bayne) finishing 12th so I’m looking forward to Vegas.”
After advancing to the final round of qualifying on Friday, the Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up in the fourth position and marched his way up to second-place by lap 12 reeling in the leader.
After the first pit stop, Stenhouse reported that the SunnyD Ford lost all grip from the previous run but was able to finish out stage 1 in the seventh position earning valuable points in the playoff standings.
After earning the lucky dog at the end of stage two, crew chief Brian Pattie took a big swing on the handling of the SunnyD Ford for the final 155-lap stage. Stenhouse restarted 13th and quickly maneuvered through traffic and cracked the top-10 by lap 224.
On the final restart setting up an 11-lap shootout, the Roush Fenway Racing driver lined up in the seventh position but as he was jockeying for position contact was made with the No. 1 machine causing damage to the right front fender. After the damage, the SunnyD Ford was tight causing Stenhouse to settle with a 13th-place finish.
Next up for Stenhouse and the No. 17 team is the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 12. Race coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX. Coverage can also be heard on PRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.