Stenhouse Jr. Finishes 22nd in Season Opener at Daytona
After leading the Roush Fenway Racing qualifying efforts on Sunday with posting the fifth overall fastest time, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his Fastenal Ford to a 22nd place finish after overcoming a pit road mishap late in the 58th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
“It was really hard to pass out there today,” Stenhouse said. “I’m really proud of my guys and their hard work this past week and during the off-season. It’s definitely not the finish we wanted but we will take it. Our Fastenal Ford had speed all week but it was just hard to pass overall. At the end of last year, we said we just need to finish racing and be consistent and we did that today.”
In the first half of the 200-lap race, the two-time XFINITY champion had to start at the rear of the field after bringing his Fastenal Ford to pit road while closed due to a flat right rear tire.
With less than 50 laps remaining, the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year brought his Fastenal Ford to pit road for a routine pit stop but the No. 59 machine slid through his pit box into the No. 17 pit box. The mishap caused crew chief Nick Sandler to change from a four to a two tire stop and losing the lead pack.
When the final caution flag waved setting up a 12-lap shootout, Stenhouse Jr. teamed up with fellow Ford driver Ryan Blaney on the high lane but as their line was gaining momentum the line stalled forcing Stenhouse to settle for a 22nd-place finish in the first race of the season.