Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fast Facts: 2012 Nationwide Series champ Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Jack Roush and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with the 2012
Nationwide Series championship trophy
Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR/Chris Graythen
Roush Fenway Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will have some big shoes to fill in 2013 – he’s replacing 2003 Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth in the Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 Ford Fusion in the Sprint Cup Series. He’s heading to the car on a high note – he backed up his 2011 Nationwide Series title with a second one in 2012. Here another look at Stenhouse Jr., featuring the 2012 chapter of his career, in this week’s Fast Facts.

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was born October 2, 1987 in Olive Branch, Mississippi. He began racing go karts at age 6; by age 15, he had collected 47 A-Main wins and more than 90 podium finishes. In 2003, he switched to 360 winged sprint cars, winning the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Driver Poll and Dirt Winged Sprint Car Rookie of the Year, as well as the Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park Rookie of the Year.
  • Stenhouse Jr. spent the next few years driving winged and noon-winged sprint cars in various series including USAC, ASCS, and USCS. In 2007, Stenhouse Jr. got a call from Tony Stewart Racing to replace Tracy Hines in the team’s USAC Sprint and Midget cars after Hines was injured in an off-track incident. In his second start with TSR, Stenhouse Jr. earned the win in the USAC National Midget Car Series competition at Tri-State Speedway. He went on to win the 2007 Rookie of the Year awards in both the USAC Sprint and Midget Car Series.
  • In 2008, Stenhouse Jr. joined Roush Fenway Racing in the ARCA Racing Series, earning two wins and 14 total top 10 finishes in just 21 starts, finishing fourth in final points after leading the series for 13 weeks. In 2009 and 2010, he raced partial Nationwide Series schedules; in 2010, he competed in enough races to earn the Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year title.
  • In 2011, Stenhouse Jr. won the Nationwide Series title by 45 points over second-place Elliott Sadler; he won twice and earned 26 top 10 finishes. He also made his Sprint Cup Series debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Coca Cola 600 in May, substituting for Trevor Bayne in the Wood Brothers Racing entry and finishing 11th.

  • In 2012, Stenhouse Jr. repeated as Nationwide Series champ, this time by 23 points over Sadler; he won six times and earned 26 top 10s. In Sprint Cup Series competition, he ran for Roush Fenway four times and had a best finish of 12th at Dover in September.

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