After leading the field on a late restart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. went for a spin in turn one, making contact with the wall, forcing him to settle with a 37th- place finish in Sunday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“I just struggled here all week, really,” Stenhouse said. “I didn’t feel comfortable at the test and then the infield section I feel like I was really good, and really from the time I got on the big track through the chicanes I was really struggling. We got some damage there on that restart when we were leading and our car was really loose after that and hard to drive.”
Stenhouse took the green flag for Charlotte’s inaugural Roval race in the 23rd position. The No. 17 SunnyD Ford team chose to pit with the race’s first caution at lap 13 for four tires and fuel and returned to the track to restart 23rd. The Olive Branch, Miss. native worked his way up, gaining five positions to finish stage one in the 18th position.
The No. 17 team elected to stay out during the stage ending caution and restarted stage two 11th. As the stage progressed, Stenhouse reported that he lacked drive off of turn eight. Even with these reports, the Roush Fenway Racing driver was able to maintain track position enough to work his way inside the top-five. When the team pitted at lap 47, Stenhouse took four tires and fuel before heading back on track. He took the green-checkered flag 29th and stayed out during the final stage break. Crew chief Brian Pattie elected to stay out after the caution flag waved on lap 69 allowing the SunnyD Ford to take over the lead. On the restart, a competitor car got into the back of the No. 17 machine, causing damage to the left rear.
As a result, Stenhouse was shuffled back to ninth with 33 laps left at the Roval before pitting for a scheduled green flag pit stop. As he was battling for position, Stenhouse made contact with the wall entering turn one ultimately ending his day forcing him to settle with a 37th-place finish. Stenhouse and the No. 17 team head to Dover International Speedway next weekend. Race coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.