Thursday, Dec 01

Stenhouse Jr. Drives SunnyD Ford to a Ninth-Place Finish at Bristol

After suffering right rear damage to his SunnyD Ford in Saturday’s first practice almost forcing the team to go to the backup car, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rebounded earning a ninth-place finish in the rain postponed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Monday afternoon. In his nine career starts at the ‘World’s Fastest Half-Mile’, Stenhouse has scored three top-five and five top-10 finishes.

“I just couldn’t keep our track position the way we needed to with some mishaps on pit road,” Stenhouse said. “For as loose as we were Saturday, I was really happy with our Sunny D Ford.  We got the top working and we actually got the bottom working some, but we just couldn’t keep our track position the way we needed to, and then I got behind some cars that were slower a lot of the restarts and I’d lose some positions. Overall it was a good day for a team with another top-10 finish”.

The two-time XFINITY Series champion took the green flag from the 19th position after rain cancelled qualifying on Friday afternoon setting the field by owner points. Stenhouse steadily ran in the top 20 for a majority of Stage 1 despite battling a loose machine. When the green-checkered flag waved on lap 125, the Olive Branch, Miss. native was scored in the 14th position. 

After being extremely satisfied with the handling of his SunnyD Ford, Stenhouse steadily marched his way through the field working his way up to the ninth position before the yellow flag was displayed on lap 210. With the importance of stage points, Stenhouse battled teammate Trevor Bayne at the end of Stage 2 to pick up a valuable point with his 10th place finish in Stage 2.

In the final stage, the 2013 MENCS Rookie of the Year was the fastest car on the track when he ran the high line at both ends of the half-mile track. On the final restart, Stenhouse was scored in the 12th position but quickly maneuvered his Ford up to the seventh position in the final laps but lost a few positions in the closing laps taking the checkered flag in the ninth position.



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