After earning his best qualifying position of 12th at the historical Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was caught up in a pit-road chain reaction only 13 laps into the 160-lap race forcing him to settle with a 31st-place finish.
“I’m not sure exactly what happened that stacked everyone up on pit-road,” Stenhouse said. “We just got caught in the middle and sustained a lot of damage to our Fastenal Ford. It was unfortunate as our Ford had been strong all weekend. With 10 races left in the season, we will look to finish the season strong.”
For the first time this year, qualifying was held the morning of the race. The two-time Xfinity champion qualified 12th earning a career best at the historical 2.5-mile track. After losing a few spots early on due to a tight machine, Stenhouse was scored in the 19th position when the first caution flag waved. As he was making his way down pit-road, some cars ahead of him checked up triggering a chain reaction causing significant damage to the front and rear of the Fastenal Ford.
The crew worked feverishly to repair the mangled machine but the Olive Branch, Miss. native was forced to bring his Ford back to pit-road under green flag conditions to further repair the nose of the Fastenal Ford. When the first green-checkered flag waved, Stenhouse was scored in the 40th position.
The crew continued to work on the nose during stage one break and the one caution period in the second 50-lap stage. Despite the damage, Stenhouse was able to gain four positions by the time the second green-checkered waved.
After restarting in the 35th position for the final 60-lap stage, perseverance by Stenhouse and the No. 17 paid off allowing them to pick another four positions taking the checkered flag in the 31st position.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sept. 15, 2019 for the Southpoint 400. Race coverage begins at 7 p.m. EST on NBCSN.