In only his third career start at the historical Indianapolis Motor Speedway, known for the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his EcoPower Re-Refined Oil Ford Fusion to a 24th- place finish in Sunday’s Crown Royal 400.
“Track position was crucial today,” Stenhouse said. “We struggled with the handling all race. Our Ecopower Ford was inconsistent every run. We gambled and stayed out on the last caution but the guys with fresher tires were able to get around us. We have been working hard on our cars and will keep working on our cars to get us where we are more competitive. We will take what we learned here and at our test in Michigan to Pocono and hopefully have a solid run there.”
The 2013 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year qualified in the 21st- starting position for his second career Sprint Cup start at the esteemed Indianapolis Motor Speedway and consistently battled in the top-25 for a majority of the 400-mile race. With only four cautions and a mixture of pit strategies during the 160-lap race, Stenhouse Jr. battled with an ill-handling machine and was unable to gain ground on the leaders.
When the final caution was displayed, crew chief Mike Kelley instructed Stenhouse to stay out if a majority of the leaders came to pit-road in hopes to gain valuable track position. The Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up in the 11th position for the final restart but was forced to settle for a 24th-place finish after new tires prevailed.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Pocono Raceway on Aug 3, 2014 for the GoBowling.com 400. Race coverage starts at 1:00 pm EST on ESPN.