March 21, 2014 — photo courtesy Ricky Stenhouse Jr. via Twitter — FONTANA, CA — During the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. managed to post one top five, three top 10s, and a highest finish of third. Through four races of the 2014 season Stenhouse Jr. has already posted one top five, two top 10s, and a highest finish of second.
This year’s stats for Stenhouse seem are more comparable to his stats in the NASCAR Nationwide Series than any of his stats from last year’s rookie season. So what’s different this year about the No.17 Roush-Fenway Ford?
Crew chief Mike Kelley.
Stenhouse and Kelley enjoyed the success of two NASCAR Nationwide Series championships and eight NNS wins from 2011 to 2012. During this past off-season Stenhouse and Kelley requested to work together once again, this time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The duo knew this request would bring added attention, and added pressure. So far it has paid off.
Prior to the season Stenhouse discussed the addition of Kelley to his team, “We’re really looking forward to having Mike back on the pit box with me. Mike Kelley and I get along so well and have that good chemistry that you need in a race team, so I’m really looking forward to getting to the track with him.”
Four races in, his enthusiasm is just as high.
“It’s been nice working with Mike and the guys again. We’re having a lot of fun. We’re just slowly working and getting better and better.”
With confidence levels at an all-time high for Stenhouse Jr., look for him to be strong at Auto Club Speedway. Stenhouse Jr. and Kelley recorded top fives in both of their NNS starts together at the two-mile track.