Driver, No. 47 Kroger Camaro ZL1 1LE
HOMETOWN: Olive Branch, MS
ROOKIE YEAR: 2013
HOBBIES: Sprint car racing, listening to country music, golf
For the first time in nearly a decade, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will have a new number in the NASCAR Cup Series, joining JTG Daugherty Racing and donning the No. 47 on his Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. Stenhouse will be reunited with his former crew chief, Brian Pattie, as the duo join the organization in 2020 and lead the charge of the No. 47 Kroger team.
Racing has been in the Olive Branch, Miss-native Stenhouse bloodline since before Stenhouse was born. He gets his love of racing from his dad, Ricky Stenhouse Sr., who raced sprint cars throughout Stenhouse’s childhood. Stenhouse would work at his dad’s racing shop and clean his cars at local dirt tracks in Mississippi where his dad was racing until he was old enough to begin working on them himself.
Stenhouse began his motorsports career at six years old racing go karts. He earned 47 wins and 90 podium finishes in his 13-year karting career, all while working with his dad in his racing shop and engine shop. Eventually, he moved up to race sprint cars when he was 15 years old in 2003. From that day forward, his dad ended his racing career to focus on his son’s career and continues to attend races today.
Stenhouse began stock car racing in 2008 racing in the ARCA Racing Series for Roush Fenway Racing. In only his sixth race in a stock car, he won his first ARCA race at Kentucky Speedway and had two total wins in his rookie season. Working his way through the Roush Fenway Racing driver development program, he began racing a partial schedule in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) in 2009. He then won the Rookie of the Year award in 2010 after scoring three top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 32 starts.
Stenhouse’s NASCAR career only continued to strengthen from there. In his second NXS season in 2011, he had two wins, 16 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes in 34 starts, ultimately winning the NXS Championship. He went for two in 2012, winning a second consecutive NXS Championship with six wins, 19 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes. It was only right that Stenhouse was promoted to a NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) ride at Roush Fenway Racing for his rookie year in 2013, a season in which he also won his first NCS pole award at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award at the end of the season.
His NCS career continued to excel from there. Through seven full-time seasons, Stenhouse has two wins (Talladega Superspeedway in May 2017 and Daytona International Speedway in July 2017), 15 top-five finishes, 34 top-10 finishes and two pole awards in 256 career starts.
Aside from his premier series accomplishments, Stenhouse is highly decorated in the sprint car racing community still to this day where he owns a team and competes part-time. After his first NCS win at Talladega, he became only one of eight drivers to have won in NASCAR’s premier series as well as the USAC Silver Crown, National Sprint Car, and National Midget Series, joining drivers such as Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart.