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NASCAR: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finishes in 16th as he closes his 2018 season with the No.17 Roush Fenway Racing Team at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started from 9th after a decent qualifying run from Friday.

In his initial run, he remained quiet in the radio at P10 over the first 20-25 laps.

Although, he lost a spot a few laps later before hitting pit road on Lap 33-35 with a chassis adjustment.

En route to the end of Stage 1, the feedback didn’t improve positively for Stenhouse having ended up in 15th.

Stage 2

Stenhouse exited pit road during the break for more chassis treatment before restarted in 14th.

He went okay through the first half of the run in 12th with no much change said on the radio.

When he came back to pit road under green with 40 to go, Stenhouse hoped to improve next time around via an air pressure adjustment.

But thanks to the debris caution on Lap 139 from Erik Jones, it halted Stenhouse’s progress.

Despite having a chassis adjustment on his hands, he couldn’t execute the drive off by the halfway mark in 16th.

Stage 3

He pitted again during the break before restarting in 11th.

But his woes inside a struggling race car continues when Stenhouse had zero grip in 17th and stayed there for the next 20-30 laps.

Although, the Kyle Larson crash on Lap 193 saw Stenhouse move up a spot as he makes more changes on pit road.

Despite having the chassis adjustment on, there’s still no positive feedback through the next run.

It’s where Stenhouse found a hard time in executing the cornering which a struggling race car won’t help him turn in 15th.

After he pitted for the last green-flag stop with 50 to go, Stenhouse did stay running in 13th towards nearly the end of the race thanks to the adjustments requested on the radio a while ago.

But the Daniel Suarez & Brad Keselowski incident caution with 20 to go saw Stenhouse lose three spots and finish in 16th.

Stenhouse’s 2018 Season So Far.

  • 36 Starts
  • 10,076 of 10,250 Laps Completed, 98.3%
  • 133 Laps Led
  • Highest Starting Spot: 3rd, November 2018 in Phoenix
  • Best Finish: 3rd, October 2018 in Talladega
  • Three Top 5, 8.3%
  • Five Top 10 finishes, 13.9%
  • Average Start: 14.8 & Finish: 19.4
  • DNF: Six
  • He currently sits 18th in the Drivers’ Standings with 701 Points.

Results

  • 29th/Crash, Daytona 500
  • 16th, Atlanta
  • 14th, Las Vegas
  • 23rd, Phoenix
  • 18th, Fontana
  • 37th, Martinsville
  • 25th/Suspension, Texas
  • 4th, Bristol
  • 23rd, Richmond
  • 5th, Talladega
  • 15th, Dover
  • 11th, Kansas
  • 10th, Charlotte
  • 14th, Pocono
  • 29th, Michigan
  • 18th, Sonoma
  • 16th, Chicago
  • 26th, Daytona 2
  • 30th, New Hampshire
  • 22nd, Pocono
  • 16th, Watkins Glen
  • 18th, Michigan 2
  • 24th, Bristol 2
  • 12th, Darlington
  • 34th/Engine, Indianapolis
  • 30th/Crash, Las Vegas 2
  • 13th, Richmond 2
  • 37th/Crash, Charlotte Roval
  • 9th, Dover 2
  • 3rd, Talladega
  • 20th, Kansas 2
  • 19th, Martinsville 2
  • 11th, Texas 2
  • 33rd/Crash, Phoenix 2
  • 16th, Homestead

Conclusion

Yes, he was about to make a significant impact following a fantastic qualifying run.

But the race day form tells a different story.

It was somewhat a bummer when a struggling race car robbed him of a Top 10 and even 15 run.

Although, Some yellows do take resets and more gambles with the adjustments & strategy where it did work for some parts at the right time.

But if the race didn’t have a late yellow, then Stenhouse would’ve had a better chance of finishing inside the Top 10.

Apart from that, there’s nothing much he can say about his last weekend of 2018 on the race track.

However, he does praise the No.17 Team’s hard work through 36 races of 2018.

Stenhouse will most look forward to work with Ryan Newman in the new year and increase competition.

Regularly finish inside the Top 7 plus winning races is both of the No.6 & 17 Team’s goals will be the key to help Roush Fenway return to the top.

For now, Stenhouse will have a much-deserved break & race at dirt tracks for fun into the off-season.

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References

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