Unfortunate Ending to a Promising Weekend for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in Las Vegas Las Vegas, N.V. (Feb. 27, 2010) -- While the weekend started off slow for the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing team, it got fast in a hurry as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. qualified...
Unfortunate Ending to a Promising Weekend for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in Las Vegas
Las Vegas, N.V. (Feb. 27, 2010) -- While the weekend started off slow for the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing team, it got fast in a hurry as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. qualified his Ford Fusion seventh for the Sam's Town 300. After rain delayed the start of the event for nearly two hours, the rookie showed tremendous poise as he was steadily running in the top-15 for the first half of the race. But on lap 117, Stenhouse slipped up the track and hit the turn four wall. The team would have to take the car behind the wall for repairs. Stenhouse would return to the race, but have to settle for a 30th-place finish.
From the drop of the green flag Stenhouse radioed in to crew chief Ben Leslie that his Ford was tight and he was sliding the nose. Leslie called for a green flag pit stop on lap 57. The team performed wedge and air pressure adjustments with hopes of helping the young driver turn better in the corners. While the adjustments helped, the car was still not handling the way Stenhouse needed it to be.
On lap 83, the third caution flag was displayed and Leslie directed Stenhouse, who was a lap down, to stay on the track. This move enabled the No. 6 team to get back on the lead lap and in position to secure a solid finish. As the laps clicked off, Stenhouse was looking forward to his next pit stop which came under caution for rain on lap 106. This time, the crew made a track bar adjustment and tweaked the air pressure and sent Stenhouse on his way in the 15th position.
With fresh rubber and a better handling car, Stenhouse was laying down solid times until lap 117 when he slide up the track in turn four and hit the wall bringing out the fifth caution of the afternoon. After spending 46 laps in the garage as the crew worked tirelessly to repair the car, Stenhouse returned to the track to finish the race. He was credited with 30th place.
"We didn't start the weekend off where we wanted to but we got it turned around and had a good qualifying effort," said Stenhouse. "In the race, we started off tight but got the No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford better. We were on the lead lap and trying to finish this deal but I got tight in turn four and I got into the wall. The guys did a great job to get me back out there. We didn't get a DNF so that's a positive."
Kevin Harvick was the first to the checkered flag in the Sam's Town 300 on Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Stenhouse's teammate Carl Edwards is leading the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings after three races.
The NNS takes a two week hiatus before returning to action on the half mile short track at Bristol Motor Speedway. Stenhouse will be making his first career start at BMS in the Scotts Turf Builder 300.