Ricky Stenhouse Jr. dislikes week off
STENHOUSE JR. ENTERING NATIONWIDE SERIES OPEN WEEK ON A ROLL
Concord, N.C. (March 10, 2011) - It appears the only ones who can slow down Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No.6 Blackwell Angus Ford Mustang this season are those who created the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule.
Entering the first idle weekend of the 2011 season, Stenhouse Jr. has three top-10 finishes in the first three races of the new season and five consecutive dating back to 2010. He is second in the series championship standings, two points behind leader Reed Sorenson and three ahead of third-place Jason Leffler.
“Wish we didn’t have an off-weekend coming up,” Stenhouse Jr. said with a smile. “It’s a really good start for us. We felt like we could have had three top-fives in the first three races. We feel like we’ve got a really good shot at keeping this thing going. We’ve been at a superspeedway, short track, mile-and-a-half and we’ve been fast on every one.”
Stenhouse Jr. and the team firmly believe their finishes could be even better. He placed eighth in the season-opening race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway despite losing drafting partner Trevor Bayne in the closing laps. Stenhouse Jr. was seventh at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway despite an uncharacteristically off day for the No. 6 team in the pits. And he scored an eighth-place finish one week ago at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway despite getting zapped by fuel mileage late in the event.
“We feel like we’ve potentially gave up some spots but then again last year we would have paid for two top-10s to start the season off,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “We’ve got to look at it in perspective of how last year went and where we started off this year.”
Next up is the Scotts EZ Seed 300 March 19 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Stenhouse ran well in both Bristol races last year. He led once for four laps in the spring race before an accident hampered his effort and left him 25th in the final rundown. At the night race in August he ran among the top-10 for until a cut tire with less than 10 laps to go dropped him to 22nd-place in the final rundown.
“Bristol is almost like a superspeedway race,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “A wreck can happen and take out everybody. We ran really well there at the night race. We had a really strong top-10 run in the second race and I felt like we might have had a little bit better than that and got a flat tire there late in the race and ended up toward the back. We’re really looking forward to getting to Bristol. I think we’ve got a really good short track program. And then if we can get through Bristol and California going into that last off-weekend before we really start running I think we’ll be setup a little better than a lot of people.”