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In the Draft: Stenhouse Jr. has ten gallon confidence

April 26, 2012, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Special to NASCAR.COM, NASCAR.com



In the Draft: Stenhouse Jr. has ten gallon confidence
Stenhouse Jr. thinks he can carry momentum from Texas win to Richmond

Texas was awesome! I have been sporting my cowboy hat for two weeks now. I always have wanted to get a win at Texas Motor Speedway, and the guys gave me a stout Ford Mustang. It was extra special for me because my entire family was there to celebrate the win. It was also great to get a win for Pure Michigan, who sponsored our No. 6 Ford to help launch its promotion.

Earlier in the week, my management group gave me a brand new belt buckle, which I debuted in Texas. My new cowboy hat goes very well with my shiny, new belt buckle. You can check it out on my Twitter page.

* Stenhouse Jr. keeps Roush streak alive at Texas

"My new cowboy hat goes very well with my shiny, new belt buckle."

--RICKY STENHOUSE JR.

The week leading up to Texas was really busy. We traveled to Montreal for media day on Wednesday to help promote the August Nationwide Series race. They had a great turnout from the media. One TV station taught me a French phrase that it recorded for its sports segment. Who said this Mississippi boy can't speak French? One of the local sugar shacks came out for the event and did a sampling. I now understand why the maple syrup is famous, because it was delicious.

Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is an amazing track. Even though I struggle on road courses, I always look forward to going there. We took a lap around the track, and it looked so different because the trees had not bloomed yet. Usually when we go there in August to race, the trees lining the course have fully bloomed, which encloses the track and blocks the view of the park. The track is located within Parc Jean Drapeau, which is open year round. After the Formula 1 and NASCAR events, they tear down the grandstands and rebuild them the next year.

From Montreal, we headed straight to Texas.

On the Thursday before Texas, we had numerous media hits lined up showcasing Pure Michigan. It is holding a contest where a lucky winner can win a custom-made Pure Michigan Roush Mustang. The two first-place finalist will win a trip to the Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 19 at Michigan International Speedway. Then one of those finalists will drive away in the Pure Michigan Roush Mustang. I got to drive the Stage 1 Mustang around downtown Dallas during our media tour. That is one sweet ride! If you want to register for the sweepstakes, go to Michigan.org to enter.

This week we travel to Richmond. I love Friday night short-track racing. Last fall, we finished third, so I feel confident that we can get another top five or even a win. I feel our team has a lot of momentum going into this race. We are coming off a big win at Texas and already have captured two wins this season. This is the best start to a season of my NASCAR career, and I feel confident that we will win more races this season. We are only four points outside of first, so we will look to leave Richmond with a strong run and the Nationwide Series points lead.

We have a really busy week with Cargill as our sponsor.

On Thursday, Cargill is providing food for Langley Air Force Base airmen and their families. Cargill is a great partner, and I am honored to represent it as it shows support to all the men and women who serve our country. I am looking forward to hanging out with these men and women and learning about their duties and the Air Force base.

On Friday, Cargill is setting up a display at Richmond International Raceway and will be handing out 500 vouchers to fans to receive a free burger. I will make an appearance at 12:30-1 p.m. EST to sign autographs and meet fans, so if you will be in Richmond, make sure you stop by.

Along with the help of Cargill, Jack Roush and some of my fellow Roush Fenway drivers, we also are going to feed the media at the track on Saturday before the Sprint Cup race. It's safe to say that we have a busy week ahead of us, and it's going to be a lot of fun.

On another note, my sprint car team with Jason Johnson is dominating. They have won four of the eight races. Jason and the entire team have done a great job this season.

Make sure you follow me on twitter, @stenhousejr, and Google +.

Until next time ... later!

In the Draft with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is a twice-monthly blog and the opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. Follow him and the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing team on Twitter: @stenhousejr, @pr6nns, and @roushfenway.