After a lengthy rain delay, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was solidly running in the top 15 when the Sunny D Ford got loose under another machine sending him into the inside wall. The damage was too severe to continue forcing him to settle with a 35th-place finish at the historical Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Everybody was racing hard on the restart,” Stenhouse said. “The No. 48 kind of pinched me and I checked up. When I did my car got loose and then when I got beside of him I was trying to get back to the gas and just got a little bit more loose. Then I lost it and got the inside wall.
‘That was the best Sunny D Ford we’ve ever had here. We were really good, a lot stronger than we were yesterday in practice. That’s something to hang our hats on. I thought for the most part we had a solid day running inside the top 15. That was our goal. I thought that we could have squeaked out a top-10 there if everything went right, so I’m really happy with our performance, it was just a little costly mistake there.”
After struggling with a tight machine in qualifying on Saturday evening, the Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up in the 21st position quickly maneuvering his Sunny D Ford inside the top 15 by the time the red flag was displayed on lap 12 due to weather approaching.
After an almost two hour delay, the two-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) winner restarted 15th with only 13 laps until the competition yellow would be displayed. Newer tires prevailed costing Stenhouse to lose a few positions when the competition yellow waved.
With only 16 laps remaining in stage one, Stenhouse was able to gain a few positions to the take the green checkered in the 14th position.
In stage two, the two-time XFINITY champion pitted under the caution on lap 72 due to a tight machine. After eight cars stayed out under the caution, Stenhouse restarted in the 17th position for the final 25 laps in stage two. With fresh Goodyear tires, the Roush Fenway Racing driver was able to pick up three positions to end the stage in the 14th position.
On the restart of stage three, Stenhouse Jr. was racing the No. 48 machine when the Sunny D got loose sending him into the inside wall ultimately ending his day.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Pocono Raceway on July 30, 2017 for the Pennsylvania 400.