Jack and Carl Agree: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is Roush Fenway's--and ARCA's--Next Big Thing 20-year-old Sprint Car Veteran Heads into Toledo Leading ARCA RE/MAX Series Point Standings TOLEDO OH (5-12-08)--A RE/MAX Real Estate sign is sitting in ...
Jack and Carl Agree: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is Roush Fenway's--and ARCA's--Next Big Thing
20-year-old Sprint Car Veteran Heads into Toledo Leading ARCA RE/MAX Series Point Standings
TOLEDO OH (5-12-08)--A RE/MAX Real Estate sign is sitting in front of the Roush Fenway Racing shop in North Carolina this week. No, the facility that hosts 13 motorsports teams, including five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan, is not up for sale. Rather, it's a celebratory RE/MAX Yard Sign in support of Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.'s career first ARCA RE/MAX Series victory.
Stenhouse, a 20-year-old USAC Midget and Sprint Car veteran from Olive Branch, Mississippi, won his career first ARCA RE/MAX Series race in a No. 99 RoushFenway.com Ford on Saturday night, passing former Formula One driver Scott Speed during one of three late-race restarts to lead his first laps in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and capture his first win in only his sixth stock car start.
"The biggest thing that was going through my mind was not to let anyone by on the outside because that would have slowed us down when we were trying to chase the leaders down," said Stenhouse after the race. "I've been spinning the tires a lot on my restarts too so I was focused on not doing that and it just all came together at the end. I got a good run on both first and second and just tried to stay focused on winning."
With his win, Stenhouse has assumed the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series points lead by a slim, five-point margin over nine-time and defending series champion Frank Kimmel. Those who are part of Roush Fenway Racing, including team owner Jack Roush and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards, agree that Stenhouse has made strides during his short stock car career:
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
"I was able to watch the Rockingham race last weekend and thought Ricky did a good job," said Edwards. "I spent quite a bit of time with him last week giving him some pointers on Kentucky and it sounds like he took that information and used it, which is great. I'm real excited for him that he got his first win, it sounds like he really stepped up and improved on a lot of things. I'm excited to have him in my USAC Silver Crown car this year, and I think he's making a lot of progress in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. I see nothing but blue sky for Ricky in the coming years. I'm proud to have him as my teammate."
Jack Roush, Owner of Roush Fenway Racing
"I'm real proud of Ricky and the entire No. 99 team for their win this past weekend at Kentucky," said Roush. "In six stock car starts, Ricky has continued to show improvement each week and with each week his confidence level has increased which culminated in a victory for the team. When you put in the time and effort, you will see results and that's what's happening with our ARCA team. We need Ricky to keep learning so he can become a better driver and we can move him up the food chain, and winning a race is a part of the learning experience.
"The ARCA RE/MAX Series is a great place for us as a team to develop new talent. It's a competitive series that allows our new drivers to gain valuable on-track experience, especially for drivers like Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who have come from an open wheel background and don't have a lot of, if any, stock car experience."
Next up for Stenhouse is the Hantz Group 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway, race seven of the 21-race ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. He joins Roush Fenway teammate David Ragan, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Ken Schrader, former Formula One driver Scott Speed, defending series champion Frank Kimmel and close to 40 drivers entered for the 200 lap race. Although Stenhouse has never competed in a stock car at Toledo Speedway before, he raced a USAC National Midget and Sprint Car at the .5-mile track in 2007, finishing 18th and 3rd, respectively.
Tickets to the May 18th Hantz Group 200 presented by Federated Car Care are available by contacting Toledo Speedway (419) 727-1100.