Ricky Stenhouse Jr. preview
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 6 Blackwell Angus Ford Mustang:
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO RACE RESPECTFULLY AT TALLADEGA BECAUSE THE TRACK IS SO WIDE AND SO SMOOTH?
“It’s hard. Speedway racing takes a lot of patience and I’m learning that more and more. Every race takes patience but it seems like the superspeedways demand more patience. With the way we drafted at Daytona with two cars tied up together I feel like it kind of takes a little bit of that out of play but definitely have to be in the right position at the right time still. Running up front there with the guys like Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch, I think they have a little bit more respect for me.
Trevor [Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing teammate] and I both were really fast together but outside of that I really didn’t have anybody that would go with me [smiles]. I’m definitely looking forward to getting to Talladega. I’d like to work with one of our teammates for sure but I feel like I got a little bit more respect and get some different drafting partners.”
Mike Kelley, Crew Chief, No. 6 Blackwell Angus Ford Mustang:
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY YOU PREPARE CARS FOR TALLADEGA VERSUS DAYTONA? “Not as much anymore with the changes that Daytona made to their track this year. The thing about Talladega that makes it a little easier for us is the track size and shape is a little more forgiving with this new two-car draft. It’s not as tight entering and exiting the corners.”
IS IT FRUSTRATING THAT SO MUCH IS OUT OF YOUR CONTROL AT TALLADEGA? “It’s tough when you know that at any given moment that thing could come back on a rollback and everything you’ve built is gone. We’ve been really fortunate, knock on wood, with the programs that I’ve been on the last few years that we’ve been able to have fast enough cars to stay out of the big wrecks. We build ‘em to race and we build ‘em fast and let it take care of itself and if you happen to get caught up in something you can’t let it pull you down. It’s like going to the Roulette table and betting all on red or black. It is what it is.”
Stenhouse Jr. leads the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship standings by 14 points over second-place Jason Leffler and is 24 ahead of third-place Justin Allgaier…Will be making his fifth Nationwide Series restrictor plate start this weekend and has started 10th-place or better in each of those races…His five top-10 finishes are best among Nationwide Series regulars…Has completed 1,168 of 1,170 total possible laps this season (99.8 percent).