After earning his best career starting position in his 11 starts at Michigan International Speedway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got caught up in late-race incident resulting in a 29th-place finish in Sunday’s rain-shortened Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race.
“We just struggled overall today,” Stenhouse said. “We could just never find the grip we needed. I was really hoping for a better showing since we were in the backyards of Roush Industries and Ford. We will regroup this week and be ready for Sonoma.”
In Ford and Roush Industries back yard, the two-time Xfinity champion started the rain delayed 200-lap race in the seventh position but fell to 16th by the time the competition yellow was displayed due to an ill-handling machine. After restarting 15th for the remainder of the stage, Stenhouse lost track position as he lacked overall grip taking the green checkered in the 27th position.
During the second 60-lap stage, the Olive Branch, Miss. native made contact with a fellow competitor causing a hole in the front nose forcing Stenhouse to pit multiple times during the caution on lap 85.
With rain in the nearby area, Stenhouse restarted 31st and was working his way through the field when contact was made by the No. 95 machine sending the Fastenal Ford for a spin. The No. 17 crew worked feverishly to repair the mangled right rear fender. Unfortunately, the rain moved in not allowing the field to go back green forcing Stenhouse to settle with a 29th-place finish.
Next up for Stenhouse and the No. 17 team is Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 24.