Stenhouse Jr. Finishes 30th in Season Finale After Late-Race Accident
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2016) – After sustaining nose damage early on in the season finale of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was scored in ninth with four laps remaining in Sunday’s night Ford Ecoboost 400 when suddenly his Fastenal Ford broke loose causing severe damage resulting in a 30th-place finish.
“I was just trying to get all I could get there,” Stenhouse said afterwards. “It looked like the No. 3 got underneath the No. 20 and I tried to get underneath the No. 3 and when I did he was really close to my door and it just kind of sucked me around and we got loose. It’s a bummer way to end. We were just kind of average all night. It’s a tough way to end the season, but we’ll build it and get back ready for next year.”
The two-time NASCAR XFINITY champion started the 267-lap race in the 18th position but quickly charged his way forward gaining six positions in the first 15 laps.
As he was coming to pit-road on lap 81 for a scheduled pit-stop, the Fastenal Ford sustained nose damage as he was coming into his pit box as another competitor was leaving. The Fastenal Blue team quickly repaired the damage without losing any positions on pit-road.
After solidly running in the top-15 for a majority of Sunday’s 267-lap race, the Olive Branch, Miss. native was scored in the 15th position when a multi-car accident occurred on the restart bringing out the red flag.
In fear that he flat spotted his tires, Stenhouse came to pit-road for four fresh Goodyear tires and a chassis adjustment for the final five lap shootout.
After lining up ninth for the final laps, the 2013 NSCS Rookie of the Year was battling on the inside lane when his Fastenal Ford got loose, causing him to make contact with the inside wall. The damage was too severe to return to the track forcing Stenhouse to settle with an 30th-place finish; ending the season 21st in the drivers’ point standings.