Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Views Daytona as Best Opportunity to Win

by Angela Campbell On Thu, Jul. 05, 2018

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fifth Thrid Bank Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 59th Annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 1, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Daytona International Speedway this weekend to continue the Independence Day celebration with the Coke Zero Sugar 400. Be prepared for fireworks both on and off the track.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. describes the Daytona experience as unique.

“For a racer, Daytona is special no matter what,” he said. “The Supercross guys think it’s special. We think it’s special. The road course guys back when I raced go-karts and came down, even though I didn’t race inside of this track, but Daytona kart week was always special, so anytime you can win or be a part of a race here at Daytona that’s something that you dream about doing and then obviously pulling in to that victory lane is unlike any other. That’s something we all strive for.”

Known for its unpredictability, the 2.5-mile track has been host to eight different winners in the past eight races. Stenhouse visited victory lane last year capturing his first checkered flag in the event. Could we see a repeat winner Saturday night? The odds may not be in his favor but his two career victories in the Cup Series, both in 2017, have one thing in common, restrictor plate racing. Stenhouse’s first victory was in May at Talladega Superspeedway. In addition to two restrictor-plate wins, Stenhouse also has six top-five finishes and nine top 10s at these two tracks.

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend,” he said. “Jimmy Fennig has done a great job building our superspeedway cars. Last year, we were able to get our Fifth Third Ford into victory lane. Anything can happen in typical plate racing but hopefully, we can once again get our Ford into victory lane and clinch a spot in the Playoffs.”

“It’s a great opportunity for us. We’re still kind of battling there points-wise for 16th and that’s something that we’ve been focused on and have kind of slipped the last couple weeks.” Stenhouse continued, saying, “a win would go a long way.”

His confidence is high and his goal is clear; he wants to win. Expect a no holds barred attitude, especially in the closing laps, as he attempts to secure a berth in the Playoffs.

“I think respect kind of goes out the window at the end of every race,” Stenhouse said. “We all want to win and here at Daytona, there’s so many options and so many different things and ways the race can play out. You might think you have it and then all of a sudden you don’t, but I think that goes all the way back through the field. For us, if we can come in here and gain 30 or 40 points on the guys that we’re racing for 16th, then we go into Kentucky next week and all of a sudden we’re inside looking at the Playoffs instead of from the outside.

“We all go as hard as we can here on these last few laps at the speedways and generally there’s a reason why there are always wrecks at the end because we know it’s a good opportunity for us to win.”

Follow @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.


** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

Leave a comment

Free Shipping on Orders Over $25 at Store.NASCAR.com

Copyright © SpeedwayMedia.com. All rights reserved. - Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties.