After multiple cautions in the final stage of racing, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. walked away from Martinsville Speedway with a solid 15th-place finish Sunday afternoon in his Fifth Third Ford Mustang.
Stenhouse rolled off in the 16th position for the 500-lap race, but fell back to 26th early in stage one. The No. 17 Ford pitted during the race’s first caution at Lap 27 for four tires and fuel but had to restart at the rear of the field after speeding on pit road. Stenhouse took the green-white-checkered for stage one in 26th with reports of a vibration in the rear and bad turn.
The team was able to bounce back with a fast pit stop to restart for stage two in 24th. The driver toggled between 24th and 26th, went one lap down and reported heavy vibrations every time the throttle was touched. Luckily a caution flag was displayed at lap 251, resulting in an opportunity to take the free pass. The No. 17 team then pitted at lap 254 for fuel, tires and an adjustment to finish the second stage 18th.
After staying out during the stage break, Stenhouse got to work for the final laps. The team restarted 17th and held the position for the majority of the stage. The No. 17 Fifth Third Ford’s adjustments paid off, as reports of the car got better. Through various cautions, the team was able to maintain position until being slightly involved in an incident at Lap 352. After pitting to repair the minor damages, Stenhouse drove up through the field climbing as high as 12th. The team ultimately took the checkered flag 15th, going home with a solid finish at the Virginia track.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team heads down south next weekend for 500 miles of racing at Texas Motor Speedway. The race is set for Sunday, Nov. 3 at 3 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network.