Stenhouse Finishes 13th in First Race of Round 2 Playoffs
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 8, 2017) – After a late race pit-road speeding penalty, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. capitalized on the final restart gaining five positions in the final two laps to earn a 13th-place finish in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“We definitely brought a better Ford to the track this weekend than we did at Chicago,” Stenhouse said. “I’m happy with our better effort. We thought if we could be 15th to 10th it would be a good day for us. We didn’t get any stage points, which was a bummer, but we rebounded there on that last restart, which was key.”
After rain cancelled both practice sessions on Saturday, the Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up in the 22nd position and quickly gained four positions before the competition yellow waved on lap 35. Due to battling a loose handling machine late in stage one, Stenhouse lost a few positions taking the green checkered in the 22nd position.
After a speedy pit-stop by the No. 17 team, Stenhouse gained seven positions on pit-road lining him up in the 11th position for the final 40 lap shootout of stage two. Despite still battling a loose condition, the two-time XFINITY champion barely missed scoring valuable stage points with his 11th place finish in stage two.
On the final pit-stop, Stenhouse was assessed a pit-road speeding penalty forcing him to line up at the tail end of the field with four laps remaining in the 334-lap race. A timely caution was displayed sending the race into overtime. After lining up in the 18th position for the final green white checkered, Stenhouse bullied his way through the pack picking up five positions in the final two laps to take the checkered flag in the 13th position.
Next up for Stenhouse and the No. 17 team is the Alabama 500 at Talladega SuperSpeedway on Oct. 15 as they try to go for the sweep. Race coverage begins at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.