With his first two wins in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this year, the driver of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 Ford and the rest of his team all have a lot to celebrate. But they’re not done. They’re also celebrating their first time in the playoffs together.
Setting Up for Playoffs Run
The No. 17 driver had earlier remarked that the team was using the second Richmond Raceway race of the year to work on some things to assist them through the 2017 playoffs.
“We were just working on some packages that we wanted to look for going into another semi‑short track at Loudon,” Stenhouse said.
“Didn’t work as well as we wanted tonight. We had a really good Friday, practice and qualifying. But similar to Kevin, we were struggling with a little bit of turn in the center, spinning the tires up off.”
Regardless of the disappointment of qualifying 8th, but finishing the race 19th, Stenhouse was optimistic about the playoffs.
“It’s cool to be in our first Playoffs. Can’t wait to see if we can’t advance a few rounds, put a good 10‑race stretch together.”
But as a first timer in the playoffs, there is bound to be excitement, pressure and difficulty. Stenhouse acknowledged that all of those will come into play and improvements would have to keep coming for the No. 17 team.
“Taking away a few things from tonight, that was no mistakes. We got to take that and make sure that we do that come Chicago, Loudon and Dover, then see if we can’t find a little bit more speed in our cars. We’ve been searching for that all summer long.”
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. said he does like the upcoming tracks of the first round of the playoffs.
“We’ve had good success at them,” he said.
“Definitely excited for our first Playoffs with Monster as the title sponsor of our series. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Stenhouse will be the 8th seed coming into the 2017 playoffs, starting with 2,010 points. He is one of five Fords in the 2017 MENCS playoffs, and the only one from Roush Fenway Racing to be eligible to compete for the championship this year.