Sitting in last place on the Monster Energy NASCAR Playoffs Grid – 10 points behind Jamie McMurray on the cutoff line – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. could use a win in the next two races to advance to the Round of 8.
His best chance at a visit to Victory Lane is in Sunday’s Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway – the site of his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win in May.
“I’m definitely looking forward to Talladega this weekend,” said Stenhouse, who’s from nearby Olive Branch, Mississippi. “Last Talladega was really special for me. Talladega is considered my home track so it meant a lot to me to have my dad and friends there to help celebrate my first Cup win.”
Stenhouse passed 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch on the final lap on his way to the checkered flag. He followed up his Talladega win with another restrictor-plate triumph at Daytona International Speedway in July. A win by the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing driver on Sunday would give him three victories in the four restrictor-plate contests on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule.
In addition to his win, Stenhouse claims three top fives, five top 10s and a 10.4 average finish in eight career starts at the 2.66-mile behemoth. He enters the race coming off a 13th-place finish in the Round of 12 opener at Charlotte.
“It would be nice to be able to get our Ford back in Victory Lane and secure a spot in the next round, but, if not, I think it’s a race track that we could still gain a lot of points,” Stenhouse said. “Nothing is guaranteed when you go there. I’ve been crashed out of them just as easy as finishing well, but I definitely think our entire team is excited about getting back to Talladega.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!