News & Media

In the Draft: Stenhouse Jr. eyes fourth consecutive Iowa win

July 31, 2012, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Special to NASCAR.COM,

Stenhouse Jr. looks to continue winning streak at track that means a lot to him

This week, we head to Iowa looking for our fourth win in a row at the track. We know it is going to be a tough road, but we are up for the challenge. Fastenal will be on board for the race, so you will see the blue-and-white color scheme on my No. 6 Ford this weekend. Last year, they sponsored us in a few Nationwide races, and we always had a good showing. Hopefully, we can get them back into Victory Lane.

Iowa Speedway has given me a lot of firsts in my career: my first pole and my first Nationwide win. I get asked a lot about what makes me so successful at Iowa, and the truth is that I am not really sure. The excitement and energy that the fans bring is truly amazing and makes it one of our favorite tracks. Hopefully, the finish will be as exciting as last year's, but with no wrecked cars.

"In my career, I've never raced [at Indianapolis], so I knew it was going to be challenging but fun."


On Thursday night in Iowa, I am racing my sprint car in the Knoxville Nationals. This will be the second time this year, and I can't wait. It is always a good change of pace. Hopefully, my teammate Jason Johnson or I can bring home the trophy.

Last weekend was the inaugural Nationwide race at the historical Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In my career, I've never raced there, so I knew it was going to be challenging but fun. Before our first practice, Danica [Patrick], who has plenty of experience at Indy, took me around the track and gave me a few pointers.

At Indy, we drew for our qualifying position. I drew No. 2, which I was excited about because I knew in the past it was beneficial to go out early in the qualifying session. We qualified in the 10th position, which wasn't too shabby.

Indy is such a hard track to pass on; track position is crucial. Looking back, crew chief Mike Kelley and I probably should have gambled and took two tires at the end, but hindsight is always 20/20.

I am doing some road-course testing the next two weeks to get ready for our two upcoming road races at Watkins Glen and Montreal. After Road America, I feel more comfortable at road courses, but some extra seat time will be beneficial, especially since the championship points' battle is so close.

I just got finished having lunch with some of the NOS Energy brand team, so I think I will go play a round of golf. I hope you all will tune in Saturday night for the US Cellular 250 as we go for four in a row.

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.