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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stenhouse speaks for first time about new 2013 Cup ride with Roush Racing

It's been quite a week for Ricky Stenhouse, who will be headed to the Cup series next year.

When you consider that not too long ago, he was almost booted from the Roush camp after a long string of bad finishes, his journey to becoming a Nationwide champ and now a Cup driver is quite amazing.

He spoke to the media about his promotion and more on Thursday at Kentucky Speedway:

TALK ABOUT YOUR FUTURE PLANS WITH ROUSH FENWAY AND COMING HERE TO KENTUCKY TO RACE THIS NATIONWIDE RACE AS WELL. “It was a big week for us. I got the call last week about it and I guess I didn’t really realize it was going to be that big when they announced it. I thought that was pretty cool seeing everything on Twitter and everybody texting me. It was like I won a race again with people texting me and things like that. It is a great opportunity. I was kind of shocked when I heard the news. I thought for sure that we would be a fourth car and definitely didn’t see Matt (Kenseth) going anywhere but you have to take advantage of each situation that you are in and we have to go into next year ready to go and learn as much as we can and try to finish this year off on a strong note. We came in here this year wanting to win the 2012 Nationwide Championship and we want to stay focused on that. This week will be the toughest week getting all the questions about next week to stay focused on the race. Coming into Kentucky we have run very strong here. I won my first stock car race here in ARCA in 2008 and have had a strong run every since in the Nationwide car. Last year we were running third and had to pit for fuel late in the race and came home eighth. It is a race track that I think we can get the ball back rolling. We were off a couple weeks in a row and I think this is the place to turn it around and get it back going again.”

HAS IT SUNK IN YET? HOW ARE YOU FEELING NOW? “It feels great. I rode up here with Mom and Dad in the motor home and Dad asked me, ‘What do you think?’ I try not to let it get too big right now. I want to stay focused and have to stay humbled and keep going. You can’t look to far ahead but I feel great about the opportunity.”

CAN YOU GO THROUGH THE TIMELINE OF HOW YOU FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS AND IF YOU GET TO PICK THE CAR NUMBER AND IF YOU PLAN TO RUN MORE CUP RACES THIS YEAR TO PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR? “We’ve been talking about running Cup for a long time now. I think it started back in the offseason and Jack kind of wanted to run this year but I think the way sponsorship fell and things like that and me wanting to run another year in Nationwide got us that opportunity to run another year in Nationwide. Early in the year we were talking about running some Cup races toward the end of the year to get ready for next year. I think Jack had the mindset that we would do that no matter what. I am not sure what all happened. I just got the call Thursday that said we were going to run and Matt was not coming back. I have no idea how it went down. I just got a phone call and never would have expected that. As of right now, I don’t have a say in the car number. I am just excited to race. We have been the 6 for a long time with Jack, I say long time but a couple years, but I think that depends on sponsorships and things like that. I will let them figure that out.”

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