Stenhouse Jr. - Ford Racing interview

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Ford Racing

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, is coming off one of the most memorable wins in recent years when he blew an engine coming off turn four and teammate Carl Edwards hit him from behind. The result was Stenhouse getting pushed across the finish line first to win last weekend’s race at Iowa Speedway. Stenhouse, who also regained the points lead, spoke with Ford Racing earlier this week about the reaction to his second win of the season and his hopes for this weekend at Watkins Glen International

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. blows an engine on the last lap as second place, Carl Edwards slams into the rear of the car, pushing Ricky passed the checkered flag
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. blows an engine on the last lap as second place, Carl Edwards slams into the rear of the car, pushing Ricky passed the checkered flag

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

WHAT HAS THE REACTION TO THAT FINISH BEEN LIKE THIS WEEK? “It was crazy. We’ve done a bunch of media stuff and that’s all anybody can talk about. I did some radio interviews the other day and they kept asking about the last lap and the last couple of restarts, but I hadn’t seen it yet, so when I went back and watched it I thought, ‘Wow, I can’t believe that really happened.’”

WE’VE SEEN DAVEY ALLISON WRECK ACROSS THE LINE IN THE ALL-STAR RACE AND TERRY LABONTE WENT TO VICTORY LANE AT BRISTOL AFTER WRECKING AS WELL, BUT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES WERE UNIQUE. “It was really unique and, obviously, we didn’t want to tear up two race cars, but it definitely gave a finish for the fans to remember and everybody to remember for a long time. At least I can say I was a part of it and we ended up on the good end of the deal.”

THE RACE WAS TELEVISED BY ESPN SO DO YOU THINK THERE MIGHT BE ANY SHOT AT WINNING AN ESPY NEXT YEAR FOR THAT FINISH? “That would be really cool because I watched the ESPY’s this year because Trevor was out there for his Daytona win, and I think that would be really neat to go out there and do that. Hopefully it’ll be best finish or whatever category it fits best under, but if we could go and do that it would be awesome because I enjoy every sport and that brings all of them together at one time. It would be cool to go out there and kind of hang out with people from different sports with different backgrounds.”

THAT CAPPED NICE COMEBACK IN THE STANDINGS BECAUSE AFTER DAYTONA YOU WERE MORE THAN 25 POINTS OUT OF THE LEAD. HOW HAVE YOU REBOUNDED? “We’ve really just had fast race cars. If it wasn’t for Kentucky and the fuel mileage race that we kind of lost out on, we were running second or third there and had to pit for fuel. If we didn’t have to do that, we would have five top fives in a row, but the crazy thing is we’ve got five top fives in a row and we’re still only leading by 12 points, so that’s just how tough this Nationwide Series is as far as getting points back. It just makes you realize you do not want to fall behind at any moment, so we’ve got to have good, consistent races at these road courses. Mike Kelley and I were sitting there in the trailer last weekend talking about the rest of the season and looking ahead, and we have some really good race tracks after we clear these road courses and that’s what we’re looking forward to.”

THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME AT WATKINS GLEN. HOW DO YOU SIZE UP THE WEEKEND? “Realistically, I think we can finish top 10. Even though I’ve never been to Watkins Glen, watching it and playing it on some video games, I feel like it’s a race track and a road course that kind of suits my style. I like the faster corners like the esses going up the hill, so I feel like this road course is hopefully a little bit easier to get in a rhythm. There aren’t 14 corners and four miles in length like Road America, so, hopefully, I’ll be able to adjust to it pretty quick and get in a good rhythm and be in that rhythm for the rest of the weekend.”

DO YOU FEEL AT A DISADVANTAGE SINCE YOU MAIN CHALLENGERS, ELLIOTT SADLER AND REED SORENSON, HAVE CUP EXPERIENCE AT WATKINS GLEN? “Definitely. Anytime you can get seat time at a track it’s beneficial. I was just talking to Reed the other day and he’s been to Watkins Glen a lot, but he’s never been to Montreal. I’ve been to Montreal once and I bet Elliott Sadler hasn’t been to Montreal, so even though I’ve only been there once, it’s got to be a lot better than never being there at all. I’m sure they’ve been to Watkins Glen multiple times, so I feel like they’ll have an advantage this weekend, but I don’t see any reason why we can’t get the hang of it before the weekend is over.”

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT ROAD COURSES IN GENERAL? “It’s definitely foreign to me, but, then again, it’s a lot of fun. Sometimes it gets frustrating just because you have some of these guys that come in and are just really, really good at it and it frustrates you when you can’t go up and run with them, but it’s a lot of fun still. It’s something new and something different and you always learn no matter what right down to the checkered flag, so I enjoy that.”

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Series NASCAR-NS
Tags ford, nascar, nationwide, stenhouse