Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Rookie of the Year hopeful

Stenhouse Jr. in Nov. 2011
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs  
Rookie of the Year competitor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. raced hard to get a good finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. Stenhouse Jr. has made a name for himself in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, but is ready to step up and show he is ready for the challenge of the Cup division.

Stenhouse Jr. has been racing stock cars since he was 20. In 2008 he drove in ARCA for the Roush Fenway Racing team. That year he raced to his first victory, earned 21 wins and finished fourth in the points standings as a rookie. Hopefully Stenhouse Jr. can have as good of a year as a rookie in the Cup Series.

Stenhouse Jr. ran a partial schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2009. Although he only ran 7 of the 35 races, he managed to earn one top five, one top 10 and one pole.

In the 32 NNS races he ran in 2010, Stenhouse Jr. raced his way to three top fives, five top 10s but no wins or poles. Then in 2011 Stenhouse Jr. raced a full NNS schedule and earned his first two victories by winning both Iowa races. He not only had 14 top fives, eight top 10s and three poles, but he won the highest honor: his first Championship.

In an impressive 2012 season, Stenhouse Jr. took home six victories, 13 top fives, one top 10 and four poles. He also walked away with his second NNS Championship. This year Stenhouse Jr. moved to NASCAR’s Cup Series as a full time driver, taking over the No. 17 car when Matt Kenseth moved to Joe Gibbs Racing.

The Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway marked his ninth Cup start for the rookie, who started the event in 28th position. The race had its ups and downs, but Stenhouse Jr. moved through traffic, had good pit stops and earned a 16th place finish. After the fourth race of the season, he maintains 11th place in the points standings. With more hard work and good results, Stenhouse Jr. might be able to win Rookie of the Year, despite competition from fellow rookie, Danica Patrick.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Rookie of the Year hopeful Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Rookie of the Year hopeful Reviewed by Amber Klima on Monday, March 18, 2013 Rating: 5