After having to go to a back-up car, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. solidly ran in the top-20 for the majority of the race before suffering a mechanical issue with 12 laps remaining in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) event at Las Vegas forcing him to settle with a 33rd-place finish.
“We struggled all weekend,” Stenhouse said. “My guys did a good job though on the backup Fastenal Ford and I think we could have finished in the top-15. Hopefully we can get all this bad luck out of the way and can rebound in Phoenix which is a track that has been good to us.”
After making contact with the outside wall in turn one in final practice, the Olive Branch, Miss. native was forced to go to his backup car. After starting at the rear of the field, Stenhouse charged forward gaining 13 positions in the first 11 laps of the 267-lap race.
After battling an ill-handling machine for first half of the race, Stenhouse radioed to crew chief Brian Pattie that the Fastenal Ford was the best it had been all race with less than 100 laps remaining.
When the final caution was displayed on lap 250, the two-time XFINITY champion radioed in that he thought he might have a flat tire but once he brought his Fastenal Ford to pit-road the team realized that the left rear axle needed repair.
The Fastenal Blue Team worked feverishly to repair the Fastenal Ford. With only four laps remaining in the 267-lap race, Stenhouse Jr. returned to the track but was forced to settle with a 33rd-place finish.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team head to Phoenix International Raceway next weekend. Race coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on FOX. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.