Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Bio
DATE OF BIRTH: October 2, 1987
HOMETOWN: Olive Branch, MS
RESIDENCE: Cornelius, NC
MARITAL STATUS: Single
With his dominating performance in the 2011 Nationwide Series, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., became Roush Fenway’s sixth all-time NASCAR Champion. Leading the point standings for the final 13 weeks of the season, Stenhouse accumulated two wins, 16 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes during his championship campaign that saw the Olive Branch, Miss., native win the Nationwide Series driver’s championship by 45 points. The title marked the third Nationwide Series championship for Roush Fenway Racing.
At just 24 years old, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., has been racing for 18 years. At the ripe age of six, Stenhouse began racing go-karts and by 15, he had earned 47 A-main karting victories and more than 90 podium finishes. He moved into 360 winged sprint cars in 2003 and won the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Driver Poll and Dirt Winged Sprint Car Rookie of the Year. He was also named the Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park Rookie of the Year that same year.
In 2004, Stenhouse made his first USAC National Sprint Car Series start at Memphis. The 2006 season served as Stenhouse’s breakout year. He was the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Driver Poll Wild Card title winner in both the 360 and 410 winged sprint car divisions. Winning four USCS main events, Stenhouse expanded into the USAC ranks and several other racing divisions to help gain valuable experience.
Stenhouse kicked off the 2007 season by winning two of three races at Manzanita Speedway in the Copper on Dirt event in February. Capturing both the USAC National Sprint Car and Silver Crown feature events, he proved he could successfully make the transition from winged sprint cars to non-winged machines. Stenhouse then got the call from Tony Stewart Racing to drive the team’s USAC National Sprint and Midget cars. In only his second start with TSR, Stenhouse drove to victory lane during USAC National Midget Car Series competition at Tri-State Speedway.
Stenhouse went on to gain the respect of some of USAC’s best drivers demonstrating week-in and week-out why he was considered one of the best at just 19 years of age. In 26 USAC National Midget starts, Stenhouse racked up five wins, 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. In the USAC Sprint car, Stenhouse was equally as impressive garnering two wins, nine top-five and 16 top-10 finishes in 29 starts. He also captured 2007 Rookie-of-the-Year honors in both the USAC Midget and Sprint car divisions.
In the summer of 2007 Stenhouse joined Roush Fenway Racing and went on to become one of the top contenders in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2008; posting two wins (Kentucky and Pocono), three poles, 10 top-five and 14-top 10 finishes in 21 starts. He led the point standings for 13 weeks, before a late-race accident in the season finale derailed his title hopes.
Stenhouse moved to the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2009, scoring his first career pole at Iowa Speedway along with one top-five and two top-10 finishes in seven starts.
In 2010 he added the NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year title to his list of accomplishments; winning the honor after coming back from the largest point deficit in the award’s history. In 32 NNS starts in 2010, Stenhouse scored three top-five and eight top-10 finishes, and finished outside the top 15 only five times in the final 18 races; laying the groundwork for his championship run in 2011.
Stenhouse made his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at Charlotte Motor Speeway in May 2011 and finished a memorable 11th. He will make his second career Sprint Cup start in the famed Daytona 500 this season.
When he’s not racing, Stenhouse enjoys golf, racquetball, basketball and working out. Born in Memphis, Tenn., Stenhouse is an avid fan of country music.