With the race going green for a majority of Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Richmond Raceway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his Fastenal Ford to a 13th-place finish.
“We struggled the first couple of runs,” Stenhouse said. “Brian Pattie made some great strategy calls that kept us in the ballgame. Our main focus is to finish the season strong and learn for next year.”
After barely missing the final round of qualifying on Friday night, the two-time Xfinity champion lined up in the 15th position for the 400-lap race. Due to an ill-handling machine, Stenhouse fell back to the 24th position. Crew chief Brian Pattie short-pitted allowing Stenhouse to work his way back inside the top-20 at the end of stage one.
With a caution free stage two, the Olive Branch, Miss. native worked his way into the lucky dog position at the conclusion of stage two despite battling a loose-handling machine that lacked overall grip.
After taking a big swing with adjustments during the stage break, the Fastenal Ford found some speed and Stenhouse Jr. was the fastest car on the track maneuvering his way through the field.
With less than a 100 laps remaining, the Roush Fenway Racing driver was running similar lap times as the top-five but the stage went caution free forcing Stenhouse to settle with a 13th-place finish.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team return to action next Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the first ever ROVAL race. Race coverage starts at 2:00 pm EST on NBC. Coverage can also be heard on PRN and SIRIUSXM Channel 90.