News & Media

In the Draft: Life has been a whirlwind since announcement

July 03, 2012, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Special to NASCAR.COM,

Last week was insane! I have wanted to drive a Sprint Cup car full-time for a long time and now I am getting that chance.

I found out Thursday of Road America weekend, but couldn't tell anyone. I helped my dad drive the motorhome back from Road America to Mississippi, so being in the motorhome for 10 hours and not being able to tell him was tough. I'm glad he slept for some of those hours!

I was in Mississippi filming a segment for Speed called 'Home Again' when the announcement was made. It was great to be home and see my family and friend's reactions. In the past we had talked about running Cup next year, but I thought it would be in a fourth Cup car. When they told me Matt [Kenseth] wasn't returning in 2013 and I was going to move up, I was shocked! I wasn't stunned about the Cup ride but that I wouldn't have Matt as a teammate. He has been such an integral part of our organization.

Moving to Cup

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got the call he'd been waiting for from Jack Roush and the Defending Nationwide champ will run full time in the Cup Series in '13.

Probably out of all my teammates at Roush, Matt has helped me the most. Matt has been a great teammate, mentor and a friend and will truly be missed at Roush Fenway. I hope I can have the same amount of success he has had in his career and I am confident we can continue to build on what Matt and many others have spent the past 25 years laying down the foundation for.

With all the hype though I am focused on winning another Nationwide championship. Last weekend our No. 6 Sam's Club Ford was stout. The adjustments we made late in the race didn't work out like we expected, but we came home with an eighth-place finish. We needed a top-10 finish after our struggles in the prior weeks. We are currently 23 points back in the championship standings.

On our second pitstop at Kentucky, our jackman (Jeremy Neeley) was injured. When someone on our team gets injured, we all worry because that is our family, our brother. Jeremy will be sidelined for a while with his injury so please keep him in your prayers. Neeley we will miss you!

Video: No. 6 jackman suffers knee injury during stop at Kentucky

I can't believe we are heading back to Daytona. This season is flying by. In February, we were running in the top 10 coming to the checkered flag when the Big One occurred collecting us. Daytona is a lot of luck and being in the right place at the right time.

NOS will serve as our primary sponsor for the first time this year. The car looks "NOSsome." I am not sure what our game plan will be for the race, but I feel confident that we can get this No. 6 Ford to Victory Lane.

On Saturday, I am going to give rides to some of NOS's customers at Walt Disney World Park with Chris Forsberg. Should be a fun time.

Make sure you watch my "Home Again" episode on Speed's RaceHub next Thursday. And make sure to follow me on twitter @stenhousejr to stay update on appearances and what I am doing.

Until next time!

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.