After coming off his career best season, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will once again pilot the Fastenal Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing during the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season, as he moves into sixth season behind the wheel of the No. 17 Ford Fusion.
The 2017 MENCS season saw a lot of firsts for Stenhouse Jr. In May, he earned his first MENCS victory after starting from the pole position and taking the lead on the final lap at Talladega Superspeedway to clinch a spot in the playoffs. He followed up his Talladega win in July when he scored his second victory of the season at Daytona International Speedway. In 36 starts, Stenhouse accumulated two wins, four top-five and nine top 10s, ending the season in 13th-place overall in the standings.
The 2016 season saw Stenhouse Jr. earn four top five and six top-10 finishes, with his best finish of second coming at Bristol Motor Speedway in August.
In 36 starts in the 2015 MENCS season, Stenhouse Jr. scored one top-five and three top-10 finishes with his best finish of fourth in April at Bristol Motor Speedway.
In his sophomore season, Stenhouse earned his then career-best MENCS finish in March at Bristol, with a second-place finish behind then-teammate Carl Edwards. In 35 MENCS starts in 2014, the 2013 Rookie of the Year earned one top-five and five top-10 finishes.
In 36 MENCS starts in 2013, the two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) champion scored one top-five and three top-10 finishes and earned one pole award. Stenhouse earned Roush Fenway’s 13th Rookie of the Year award in 2013.
With his consistent performance in the NXS in 2011, Stenhouse 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 him win the NXS driver’s championship by 45 points. The title marked the third NXS championship for Roush Fenway.
His dominating performance in the 2012 season scored Stenhouse his second NXS championship in as many seasons, taking home the crown by 23 points. In the process, the Olive Branch, Miss. native became Roush Fenway’s first back-to-back champion. Stenhouse finished his championship effort with six wins, 19 top-five, 26 top-10 finishes and four poles.
At 30 years old, Stenhouse moves into his 24th year behind the wheel. 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.
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 (TSR) 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.
The young driver 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 the USAC Sprint car, Stenhouse was equally as impressive capturing the 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 NXS 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 NXS 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 NXS 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 MENCS debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May of 2011 and finished a respectable 11th.
When he’s not racing, Stenhouse enjoys golf, basketball, and working out. Born in Memphis, Tenn., Stenhouse is an avid fan of country music.