NASCAR Star Ricky Stenhouse Jr Races Sprint Cup Series for 2013 Roush Fenway Racing Season

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NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. holds the Heisman Trophy
NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. holds the Heisman Trophy
When Ricky Stenhouse Jr. crossed the finish line at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November, he became only the sixth driver in NASCAR history to win back-to-back Nationwide Series championships. But he wasn't completely happy with the result.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr at Nationwide World Headquarters
Ricky Stenhouse Jr at Nationwide World Headquarters


He finished in sixth place in the race, an admittedly disappointing end to his Nationwide Series run with Roush Fenway Racing. "I really wanted to win the championship and the race all at the same time," Stenhouse said.

The rising NASCAR star is moving up to the Sprint Cup Series and will be driving the No. 17 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing in 2013. The race in Miami was his last with his Nationwide Series crew. Together they placed Stenhouse in the same company as Sam Ard, Larry Pearson, Randy LaJoie, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. as the only drivers to win Nationwide Series championships in consecutive years.

Still, Stenhouse said he would have liked to end his stint in the Nationwide Series with Roush Fenway with a little more to celebrate.

"We had a car throughout the race that every now and then that would be OK," Stenhouse said. "All in all it was a great ride, great weekend for us. I was disappointed that we didn't win. Looking back at the things we accomplished this year, thinking about how long I've been with those guys and that was my last race with them. Without winning the race, the last race with those guys, it was pretty tough. I got over that race pretty quick. After the race, I was pretty upset with not winning for sure."
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with patient Brett Kingsley at the Nationwide Children's Hospital
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with patient Brett Kingsley at the Nationwide Children's Hospital


Stenhouse won six races and four poles en route to his second Nationwide Series championship. He won the Nationwide Series races at Kansas Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Champ Ricky Stenhouse Jr. plays putts with patient Taylor Rockwell
NASCAR Nationwide Series Champ Ricky Stenhouse Jr. plays putts with patient Taylor Rockwell


He credits his crew for preparing quality and reliable cars throughout the season. K&N filters were part of that preparation.

"For us, in the Nationwide side, it's very important for the engine to perform as best it can," Stenhouse said. "Being low on horsepower, it shows when you have extra five additional horsepower. That's definitely a plus. All year long, we never had a K&N part failure. I thought it performed very well."

Stenhouse started racing when he was 6 years old. Even at that early age, his father expected him to work on his own cars if he wanted to race.

"I always enjoyed it. My dad had an engine shop. I grew up tearing down engines for him and also working on the race cars," Stenhouse said. "It's a weird situation now, being in the stock cars and running them and not working on them as much like I used to. I go to the shop quite a bit. It's a different situation, but I definitely grew up working on them all the time." His experience in the garage and in the pits made him appreciate the work his crew put into his stock cars.
Nationwide Insurance CMO Matt Jauchius, Ricky Stenhouse Jr and former Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin
Nationwide Insurance CMO Matt Jauchius, Ricky Stenhouse Jr and former Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin


"You have to things that can finish the races, but you also have to have things to go out and win championships," Stenhouse said. "We have the best out there. Everybody at Roush Fenway, I feel like they do an awesome job preparing the cars as best they can and also putting the best equipment in there as well."

All that hard work produced two Nationwide Series championships in a row and a place in NASCAR history.

"Obviously that was the goal that we set out to do," Stenhouse said. "I really haven't had time to sit back and think about it. They have me running around. The second championship was huge for us. This year was great. The guys worked very hard. We had our ups and downs, but we pulled it through. That's what makes it satisfying. When we have bad races and when we were behind in points, we battled back. That's what it's all about."

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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.

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