Auto Racing: Ricky Stenhouse to drive in Sprint Cup Series for Roush-Fenway Racing in 2013
By Tina Akouris email@example.com September 14, 2012 9:36PM
Updated: October 17, 2012 6:26AM
Jack Roush made it official Friday at Chicagoland Speedway: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will drive the No. 17 Ford for Roush-Fenway Racing’s NASCAR Sprint Cup team full-time in 2013.
Stenhouse had said in June that he was leaving the Nationwide Series for a full-time Cup ride. He replaces Matt Kenseth, who will drive the No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing next year.
The No. 17 has a stellar history in the 14 seasons with Kenseth behind the wheel. Kenseth, who is eighth in points, won the Cup title in 2003, and is a two-time Daytona 500 champ.
“I know they have had a great season with Matt and we are looking to continue that next year and run for Rookie of the Year,” Stenhouse said. “We had success in the Nationwide Series, but it will be a tough road ahead.”
Roush also announced that Best Buy will be the primary sponsor for Stenhouse’s car next year.
Stenhouse still has some unfinished business in NNS. He is the defending series champion and trails points leader Elliott Sadler by only a point going into Saturday’s Dollar General 300.
More sponsorship news
The good news of Best Buy jumping on board to sponsor Stenhouse and PEAK motor oil signing on with Michael Waltrip Racing for 2013, was tempered by Dale Earnhardt Jr. commenting on how one of his primary sponsors, Diet Mountain Dew, is scaling back on its commitment to the No. 88 car in 2013.
“Sponsors have always been a challenge, ever since the beginning of time,” Waltrip said.
A bad omen?
Chase driver Martin Truex Jr. had the fastest average speed in the first practice session at 181.763 mph. But Truex rear-ended fellow Chase driver Brad Keselowski in the garage area during the second practice session. Truex’s car sustained minor damage to its right front wheel well, but Keselowski’s rear bumper was bashed in and later was fixed.