After sustaining right front fender damage to his Fastenal Ford, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. overcame adversity to earn a 14th-place finish in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“We fought all day so I’m proud of our team,” Stenhouse said. “We got damage early on which cost us valuable track position. Overall it wasn’t the best day for us, but we learned some things that we can bring back for the fall race.”
After battling a tight handling machine in qualifying on Friday afternoon, the Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up in the 17th position for the 301- lap race and quickly picked up three positions before the competition yellow on lap 35. Stenhouse fell to 20th position by the time the green checkered waved at the end of stage one due to lack of grip.
After a red flag was briefly displayed due to track repair, the two-time MENCS winner restarted stage two in the 12th position but suffered front damage to his Fastenal Ford during the restart. A much needed caution flag waved at lap 88 allowing the team to work on the damage.
Stenhouse restarted in the 36th position, gaining10 positions in 23 laps where he maintained until the second green checkered waved ending stage two.
After stage three went caution free, Brian Pattie used pit strategy to gain track positions. Once the green flag pit stops cycled thru, Stenhouse was scored in the 13th position. When the final yellow flag of the race was displayed, Pattie brought Stenhouse down pit-road for four tires and fuel.
After restarting in the 14th position for the closing laps, the two-time XFINITY champion upheld his position taking the checkered flag in the 14th place.