RICHMOND, Va (Sept. 13, 2015) –In the final race to make the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Cup, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. gambled at the end to take the wave around to join the other 13 cars on the lead lap but newer tires prevailed forcing Stenhouse to settle for a 16th-place finish in Saturday nights’ Federated Auto Parts 400.
“We just needed a caution there at the end to get us back on the lead lap,” Stenhouse said. “Our Cargill Beef /Sam’s Club Ford didn’t fire off really good but as the run progressed our car was really good. We really needed this finish after the past couple of weekends. We have 10 races remaining and hopefully we can get a win.”
After advancing to round two in the qualifying session on Friday, Stenhouse led the Roush Fenway Racing qualifying efforts with his 19th- place starting position.
At the start of the race, the Cargill Beef Ford was really loose in and tight in the center but Stenhouse knew that a competition yellow was going to displayed at lap 40 due to the rain overnight and the team could work on his machine.
The Cargill Beef Ford struggled on restarts but with long green flag runs, the Olive Branch, Miss. native was able to march forward through the field and run similar lap times as the leaders.
When the final yellow flag was displayed on lap 375, the two-time XFINITY champion and crew chief Nick Sandler decided to take the wave around to get back on the tail end of the lead lap in hopes of a quick caution.
For the final eighteen lap shoot-out, Stenhouse Jr. restarted 14th but newer tires prevailed forcing Stenhouse to settle with a 16th-place finish at Richmond International Raceway.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team return to action next Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway for the myAFibRisk.com 400. Race coverage starts at 3:00 pm EST on NBCSN.