DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is going to be among the favorites to win Sunday’s 60th annual Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). He won his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race last May in Talladega, then won again, this time at Daytona in July.
Factor in Ford winning seven straight points paying restrictor plate races and being two-for-three so far during this year’s Speedweeks, and you can see why Stenhouse and his No. 17 Ford could be listed in the favorites category.
He even thinks so too.
Following his fourth place run in the first Can Am Duel in Daytona race on Thursday night, the Roush/Fenway Racing driver said that they chose not to qualify last Sunday on speed, but rather than get their car perfect on race conditions.
See, this was an impound race. Crews weren’t allowed to touch their race cars after qualifying last weekend. You basically raced what you qualified. They chose to qualify what they were going to race.
It paid off.
Stenhouse, said his car was very good and stable. He said the Ford power had him feeling great heading into Sunday’s Great American Race. He said they opted to get their car good instead of qualifying on the front row last weekend. By the end of his duel, he could put his car wherever he wanted. He feels like he can be as aggressive as needed in the ‘500.
Unfortunately, he’s not going to have some drafting partners.
First off, the break up with Danica Patrick is just that, a break up. But, will she help him out if it doesn’t better her finishing position in the race itself?
Then, he made some drivers made for moves made on Thursday night too. The second caution of the night, he made William Byron loose which caused him to crash. Then, the third caution of the race, he did the same to David Gilliland.
Gilliland, called him an idiot. Byron, wasn’t too happy either.
Stenhouse, says their crashes were a byproduct of them having loose race cars. His was stable and it wasn’t his fault that their cars were they way they were. What’s he supposed to do, not race them?
He has a car to win. I think he can too.