A day after his best finish since July, Roush Fenway Racing announced Ricky Stenhouse Jr.‘s three primary sponsors have extended their deals with the team through 2021.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 Ford will continue to be sponsored by Fastenal, SunnyD and Fifth Third Bank. Fastenal will remain the anchor sponsor on the car and has increased its number of races as primary sponsor.
Fifth Third Bank was on Stenhouse’s car last year when he won his first two Cup races at Talladega and in the July race at Daytona.
Fastenal has been with Roush Fenway since 2010 when it sponsored Carl Edwards in the Xfinity Series. It began sponsoring Stenhouse in 2015. It was a primary or co-primary sponsor of Stenhouse in 16 races in 2017.
“It’s an exciting day for everyone here at Roush Fenway Racing,” Stenhouse said in a statement. “I’m thankful for all their support over the years and I’m really looking forward to continuing our partnership with Fastenal, Fifth Third Bank, and SunnyD for three more years. I’m grateful they took a chance on a rookie driver. I look forward to many years to come and hope we can all battle together for a championship.”
SunnyD was Stenhouse’s sponsor this last weekend when he placed fourth in the Food City 500, giving him his first top five since his win at Daytona. It was also his first top 10 of the season.
The race, which transpired over two days because of weather, saw Stenhouse rebound from multiple setbacks to challenge for the lead in the final 22 laps.
After starting fourth, Stenhouse was running in second on Lap 61 when he was spun by contact with Erik Jones. After restarting 27th, Stenhouse climbed to ninth by the end of Stage 1.
But on Lap 130, the No. 17 team was called for an uncontrolled tire penalty.
Then during the caution period following the end of Stage 2, Stenhouse had to pit three times to repair damage from a multicar crash on a previous restart.
Despite all of that, Stenhouse found himself in fourth place on the final restart with 22 laps to go.
He challenged Kyle Larson for the lead but wasn’t able to pass the No. 42 Chevrolet.
“We were really, really strong and I felt confident coming into the race yesterday and today,” Stenhouse said after his fourth top five in 11 Bristol starts. “We got into second and I was hoping it would just go green to the end, knowing that we had better tires than the 42, who was the class of the field all day. Then we restarted there at the end. (Crew chief) Brian (Pattie) said he didn’t get to really check the stagger on these tires and maybe make an adjustment with it. We didn’t take fuel and that sometimes tightens you up a little bit, but, all in all, a great weekend for us. Hopefully, this will kind of get us going and kick-start us into next week and the rest of the season.”
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