Monday, Jun 27

Stenhouse Jr. Finishes 39th After Blowing a Tire Early at Dover

After leading three laps and running in the top-10 for a majority of the first 50 laps in Sunday’s AAA 400 at the Monster Mile, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. blew two right front tires ultimately sending the Little Hug Fruit Barrel Ford to the garage resulting in a 39th-place finish.

“Our Little Hug Ford was fast and on the move,” Stenhouse said. “This track is tough. We saw a few tire issues yesterday after the first run. I’m not sure if I ran over something, we’ll have to take a look at it. I’m looking forward in coming back here in the fall. I feel like we have a good race car and happy with what we learned this weekend.”

After advancing to round three of qualifying on Friday, the two-time XFINITY champion over drove his Ford forcing him to settle with a 12th-place starting position.

When the green flag waved for the 400-lap race, Stenhouse was just outside the top-10 when the first caution flag waved on lap 15. Crew chief Brian Pattie chose to stay out since the team was outside of a fuel window.

The 2013 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) Rookie of the Year led the field back to green but fresher tires prevailed costing Stenhouse to lose the lead. Despite having older tires, the Roush Fenway Racing driver was able to run identical lap times as the leader.

On lap 47, Stenhouse suddenly blew a right-front tire sending him into the outside wall in turn three. The No. 17 team feverishly worked on the Little Hug Ford keeping Stenhouse on the lead lap.

The Olive Branch, Miss. native restarted in 33rd position and was just trying to maintain when once again the right front blew ultimately sending the Little Hug Ford to the garage resulting in the 39th-place finish.

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