Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is competing in the Chili Bowl Nationals this weekend.
TULSA – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. could not have been happier for his teammate Bryan Clauson.
Clauson, the defending Chili Bowl Nationals Champion, won his feature on Friday to guarantee a top-four spot in the A Feature. But it was Clauson and his father that offered Stenhouse the opportunity to compete this weekend. And for a driver who appreciates the opportunity to mix it up among 323 of the best midget racers in the country, Stenhouse couldn’t be more excited.
Going way back
“Me and Bryan were roommates a long time ago – when I came to North Carolina – and I never got to race with him a whole lot in a midget but he lets me drive his midget here at the Chili Bowl,” Stenhouse said.
“It’s always cool to see him do this and he was really fast.”The caliber of Clauson’s equipment is encouraging to Stenhouse. Although he’s transferred three times to the A Main (2009, 2011, 2012) he will have to come from the second row of the second C Feature to advance to the B Feature. It will be a challenge for Stenhouse to come through both features in order to join Clauson, who starts outside the front row.
Stenhouse confident in his car
“I think the car is going to be good,” Stenhouse said. “Bryan and all of his guys have built a nice car for me. It’s the same car we ran last year. I got us behind in the heat race – not getting as many passing points as we needed to and it put us behind. But I think we got it going in the C Main and the B Main. Made mistakes in the A Main, just not doing this enough. I should have moved up to the top a little quicker in (turns) three and four and I think it would have saved us a few spots.
“But looking forward to Saturday. I’ve always loved midgets. They’ve always been my favorite race car to drive and hopefully we can pass a lot of cars and make the A Main.”