Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has gotten progressively better in five flat track starts this year. He started the season 37th at Phoenix International Raceway in the Good Sam 500, improved to 32nd at Martinsville Speedway, 26th at Richmond International Raceway, broke into the top 15 at Pocono (15th), and was 10th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last week.
At the beginning of the week, Rotoworld’s coverage suggested Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the entire Roush-Fenway Racing organization would make good dark horses. The No. 17 finished 10th, following teammate Greg Biffle into the top 10.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. suffered through three consecutive flat tracks races at Martinsville Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway last fall, and on that same track this spring with crash damage. His fenders were intact this spring at Martinsville, but he managed to finish only 32nd—six laps off the pace. Finally in the Toyota Owners 400 this April, he went the distance and turned his fortune around.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished fifth in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, which was the first time this season that Roush-Fenway Racing placed two drivers in the top five. Trevor Bayne finished third.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. posted a lap of 192.320 mph in the final round of qualification for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway and will line up fourth on the grid—his career best start on this track.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has one of the five worst place-differentials with an average loss of nearly six positions each week. This has been a consistent pattern, with all but four of his first 15 races this season ending worse than it started.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. fell more than 10 positions in the final few minutes of the first round of qualification for the Axalta We Paint Winners 400 at Pocono Raceway. He tried to roll out for a second attempt, but failed to make it to the green flag in time to post a last-minute lap.
Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) has secured a multi-year partnership extension with primary partner the Fastenal Company that will continue Fastenal’s position as the anchor partner of the No. 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team and driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has appeared to be on the cusp of improving in his last three NASCAR Cup starts. He qualified in the top 10 at Talladega SuperSpeedway, Kansas Speedway, and Dover International Speedway, then ran well, but slipped in the closing laps. Still, he finished with a worst of 16th in those events.
Last fall Ricky Stenhouse Jr. scored the first Dover International Speedway top-10 of his career after starting the AAA 400 in 27th. It was also only the second time in his career that he finished on the same lap with the leaders on this track.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. knew exactly what iconic No. 17 car he wanted to race in this year’s Southern 500 Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway. It had to be the orange and white No. 17 that Darrell Waltrip drove to his first win in 1975.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has been the most consistent driver for Roush-Fenway Racing this season with one top-five, another top-10, and a top-15 in five starts.
In a photo finish, Ricky Stenhouse Jr nipped Chase Elliott at the end of the Auto Club 400 to finish fifth.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (#17 Fastenal Ford Fusion) has three-career Sprint Cup starts at Las Vegas with an average starting position of 14.7 and average finishing position of 24.7.