Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - No. 6 RickyvsTrevor.com Ford Mustang - visited with members of the media today prior to practice at Iowa Speedway along with Rookie of the Year contenders Blake Koch and Timmy Hill. The following is a transcript of Stenhouse’s quotes from that press conference.
“It’s always good to come back to Iowa, especially with the great crowds that we get here. It’s always exciting for us drivers when you know that the stands are going to be full when you are on pit road getting ready for driver introductions. Always look forward to coming back here and after we won here we’ve been looking forward to coming back here ever since. We’ve got a newer car; we’ve got a lot of updates on it I think that should play into our favor, should be a little bit faster than what we were here last time so that’s a good thing going for us. We’re running off pretty good momentum coming from a fourth-place finish at New Hampshire and leading laps late, a second at Nashville and then leading a lot of laps last week and running third. We’ve got a lot of momentum.
We ran good here last time and we really think we can get another win here. Coming from 35 [points] down last year to win Rookie of the Year, we got down this year in the points but going through that last year and coming back and winning it definitely makes me not ever give up and that’s one of the things that we’ve been focused on this year. Even though when you have a couple bad races in a row, we found ourselves 30-something points out of the lead not too long ago and we fought our way back and wanted the points lead before we left ORP and that was kind of our goal and we accomplished that and hopefully we can keep it. As far as these two guys, you just have to go out there and stay consistent and run your own race. Last year that’s what we did toward the end of the year; just run our own races. We were racing Brian Scott for Rookie of the Year and we just gave it all we had and tried to finish as high as we could every single race and it just worked out.”
OBSERVATIONS FOLLOWING YOUR FIRST WIN HERE IN MAY. “They always say you’ve got to enjoy it but in this sport you’ve got to go on to the next race and you’re only as good as your last. We had to go to Charlotte and we ended up sitting on the pole and running fourth. But we were really disappointed. After you get that first win you expect to win a lot more and we haven’t done that yet so we’ve been disappointed but at the same time we’ve been running consistently in the top-five and that’s what we’ve got to do to win this championship. Looking back on it I couldn’t think of a better place to get our first win with all the fans up here, with me growing up racing sprint cars down the street at Knoxville. I have a lot of fans there and won there, too. So it was a great place to do that and glad that we’re back here now.”
ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED THAT BRAD KESELOWSKI ISN’T HERE THIS WEEKEND? “It’s real unfortunate he had a crash testing a Road Atlanta. It’s never good to see one of our competitors get hurt. After last week I was wanting to race him here and be battling for the win. I’m sure if he was here we’d be battling. He’s a really great race car driver and I feel like I’d like to beat him here so we can put last week behind us but I guess we’ll have to wait for that.”
IS IT FRUSTRATING TO LEAD A LOT OF LAPS AND NOT WIN OR HAS IT BEEN ENCOURAGING TO COME SO CLOSE TO WINNING? “It’s been a little bit of both. Earlier in the year we led laps, I think, California late in the race and finished fourth. At Michigan we led late. Carl [Edwards] beat us and we finished second. So it’s good confidence-wise for our team knowing that we can run up front and lead laps. We led late at New Hampshire. It’s just frustrating when you don’t cap it off. But I think with a little bit more experience a few of those races could have been very easily been capped off in a win. And I guess that’s part of learning. This is our second full season of running Nationwide so I feel like I’ve still got a lot to learn. I think going through those times of leading late and not winning I think is building me as a better driver. I think each and every race we’re getting better as a team. It’s frustrating but then again it builds confidence, too.”
HOW TOUGH IS IT TO SWEEP EVENTS? “To be honest with you I don’t know how hard it is to sweep one because I’ve never done it but we’re sure going to try [smile]. We feel like we have a really good opportunity to do it. I don’t think its any more pressure. I feel like we show up at the racetrack every week to win and that’s what we do as a team. We feel like every week we have a shot to win no matter what track we’re going to. I think that’s one of the positive things about being on our Blackwell Angus beef and Cargill Mustang team is they work really hard. They were with us all last year. We work really well as a team. I feel like we can sweep here. That’d be a huge accomplishment to do that for myself and I think it’d be a pretty good statement for our race team.”
By: ford racing