Concord, N.C. (May 7, 2008) - In five career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts Roush Fenway Racing development driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has established himself as a top contender. Stenhouse is coming off an impressive run at Rockingham where he completed the 312-lap event (the longest race of his career) in its entirety and brought the No. 99 Ford home in a respectable third.
“I really like Rockingham, that was fun,” said Stenhouse following the race. “We had a good car all weekend. We had a good qualifying run and we were pretty descent all day. Lumpy (crew chief Jeff Campey) and everyone really preached to me about tire management so I was just trying to save my tires and be there at the end. Lumpy saved us a fresh set of tires there at the end and the team really got after it on pit road and we were able to get our lap back and race to third. I was really trying hard for second but couldn’t quite get around Kenny there at the end. It was a good point’s day for us and we seem to have some momentum going so we need to carry that to Kentucky this week.”
The third place finish marked Stenhouse’s second top-five finish in as many races with his career high finish of second coming at Kansas Speedway two weeks ago. Stenhouse also moved to third (tied) in the overall point standings, just 95 points out of first. To date, Stenhouse has claimed two top-five and three top-10 finishes in five starts with an average starting position of 13.6 and an average finishing position of 11.0. He has also finished 96.3% of his laps and looks to add to his stats this weekend at Kentucky Speedway when the No. 99 team returns to the track with chassis #RK-317, a former No. 17 Sprint Cup chassis.
“I’m looking forward to Kentucky. We were pretty fast there at the test and I think we learned a few things that will help us when we go back this weekend. We’re taking the same car we raced to second at Kansas so I think we should be pretty good. I talked to Carl (Edwards) for quite a while and he told me to make sure the car keeps turning good and to arc the corners. I’ve been watching video of the ARCA and Nationwide races there and that coupled with Lumpy’s notes and advice from Carl I think I know what I need to do. I really want to keep my momentum going this weekend. If we can just keep running up front we’ll eventually win one of these things.”
Stenhouse has been receiving help from some Sprint Cup Series power-houses including teammates Edwards and Matt Kenseth. Tony Stewart, his former USAC car owner, has also been helping the 20-year old attending both the Salem and Rockingham races. Stenhouse knows that the advice from these champions is something that not every driver has access to and he’s definitely using it to his advantage.
“To have drivers like Carl, Matt and Tony helping me is definitely cool.” Stenhouse continued, “That’s one of the great things about Roush Fenway, I have access to all my other teammates, crew chiefs and engineers so I’m lucky. It’s a lot of information to take in but it’s all very helpful. It definitely helps your confidence to have drivers like Tony coming to your races and telling you when you do something right. It’s also been a huge help to have guys like Erik Darnell and Travis Kvapil come to the tests with me and coach me through what I’m doing right and wrong. I can’t thank everyone enough for the help and support they’ve given me over the last several months.”
In addition to the help of fellow drivers, Stenhouse also has the help and support of his crew chief and No. 99 team. Campey sees marked improvements in his driver over the last five races and is looking forward to going to Kentucky and contending for the win.
“Ricky has done everything we’ve asked of him,” said Campey. “Iowa was a bit of a blemish but not of his fault. If the luck will stay with us we should be fine. I think he’s coming along, I was real pleased at Kansas as we got closer to the end he started running his fastest laps of the race and that’s pretty much perfect you can’t ask for much more than that. Then last week at Rockingham he did a good job managing his tires and bringing the No. 99 Ford home in one piece. I’m real proud of Ricky and this entire No. 99 team. We just need to keep running up front and eventually we’ll win one of these things.”
Stenhouse and the No. 99 team return to action this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. Live timing and scoring is available at www.arcaracing.com throughout the day. The 100-lap race begins at 8:00 p.m. EDT. For more information on Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 99 ARCA team visit www.roushfenway.com.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating 13 motorsports teams. Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Travis Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.