In the final road course race of the season, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his NESN Ford to a 20th-place finish in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Watkins Glen International.
“We were really hoping to pick up a few more positions at the end on fuel mileage,” Stenhouse said. “I thought our NESN Ford was decent this weekend but during the race our brakes went away. We have four more races to get ourselves ready for the playoffs.”
The Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up in the 22nd position for the 90-lap race. On the start, cars went four wide into turn one causing Stenhouse to lose a couple of positions. With some of the leaders playing strategy before the close of stage one, Stenhouse was able to score a 10th-place finish scoring a valuable stage point.
After battling a loose machine during most of the race, the two-time XFINITY champion took the green checkered at the end of stage two in the 33rd position, as some cars had not pitted.
After lining up in the 23rd position for the final 50-lap shootout, Stenhouse fought the handling on his NESN Ford as his brakes were fading. With a caution free last stage, fuel mileage became a factor. Stenhouse went into conservation mode saving enough fuel to take the checkered flag in the 20th position.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400. Race coverage begins Sunday, August 13 at 3 p.m. EST on NBCSN. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.