After going a lap down early on in Saturday night’s GoBowling 400 due to a loose wheel, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. battled back to earn an 11th-place finish in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Kansas Speedway.
“Overall it was a decent weekend for us,” Stenhouse said. “We had a strong GoBowling Ford all weekend which shows the gains of the Roush Fenway Racing organization. We know what we need to work on for future intermediate tracks. It’s great to be locked into the All-Star race so I’m looking forward to going after that 1 million.”
After advancing to round three of qualifying on Friday, the Olive Branch, Miss. native started the 267-lap race in the fourth position only losing two spots before the first yellow flag was displayed on lap 29. After a flurry of cautions in stage 1 and an ill-handling machine, Stenhouse Jr. settled for a 17th-place finish at the end of stage 1.
Shortly after the green flag waved in stage 2, the two-time XFINITY champion radioed to crew chief Brian Pattie that he thought he might have a loose wheel. A few laps later, Stenhouse brought his GoBowling Ford to pit-road under green flag conditions, causing him to go one lap down to the leaders. When the green-checkered waved ending stage 2, Stenhouse Jr. was scored in the lucky dog position.
Now back on the lead lap, the 2013 MENCS Rookie of the Year started stage 3 in the 26th position and patiently maneuvered his Ford inside the top-20 by lap 200. With limited tires and differences in pit strategy, Stenhouse Jr. was scored in the 10th position on the final green white checkered attempt but newer tires prevailed forcing him to settle with an 11th place finish.