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Jones, Stenhouse Jr . and Blaney Reporting from Pit Road
Monster Energy Cup Series drivers Erik Jones, Ricky Stenhouse Jr . and Ryan Blaney give updates from pit road during FS1's 'Drivers Only' broadcast for the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Pocono.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr . bounces back for fourth-place finish
RELATED: Race results " Standings " Detailed breakdown Just 65 laps into Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr . scraped the Turn 3 wall while racing hard with Denny Hamlin. But Stenhouse recovered to finish fourth at the .75-mile short track, matching his best result of the season, thanks in large part to a decision to stay out on older tires for the final restart on Lap 382. Of six drivers whose crew chiefs made that call, Stenhouse fared best, holding off Kevin Harvick during an intense 10-lap battle for position. "Yeah, I made a lot of work for us there, getting in the fence later in that first stage and really we were fighting back all day from there," Stenhouse said. "Had a really good car on the long run, but we bent the splitter bar down. Was on the splitter for five or six laps, so restarts, I was just trying to keep as best track position as I could, and once we got to Lap 6 or 7, my car kind of came back around to me. "It was a no-brainer there to stay out that last caution. I was glad it came out, because I thought we missed the opportunity the run before to stay out. It worked out perfect. Our Fifth/Third Ford and the guys never gave up, worked hard, and this track is a lot of fun in the sun. It's hot in the car, hot in the stands, so I appreciate everybody coming out, and it's nice to have I think four Fords in the top five, so it was cool." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
How Ricky Stenhouse Jr . got started in racing
From driving go-karts at age 6, to driving sprint cars for Tony Stewart right after high school, Ricky Stenhouse Jr . has been in racing all of his life.
Stenhouse Jr .'s dad takes interesting journey to Victory Lane
RELATED: Full race results " Stenhouse seizes the moment at Talladega TALLADEGA, Ala. -- His son had just won his first career race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, so Ricky Stenhouse Sr. did what any other proud father would do -- he tried to scale the fence surrounding the 2.66-mile Talladega Superpeedway. The elder Stenhouse had watched Sunday's GEICO 500 from atop an RV on the backstretch, according to Stenhouse Jr . And when the fence climb proved too difficult, he quickly ran around the track's outer perimeter road, hoping to get in through the tunnel and to Victory Lane to celebrate with his son. Foot traffic, however, is not allowed through the tunnel located in Turn 4. Stenhouse Sr. was detained by concerned officials, who weren't sure why a middle-aged man would be rushing to get into a track after the race. "He was extremely excited about his son winning today," track spokesman Russell Branham said, "and naturally so. … He wants to go through the tunnel and get in here. Our guys saw it, naturally they stopped him, asked him who he was, said 'Would you get in the car.' " Once he explained to officials who he was and why he was in such a hurry to get into the track and to Victory Lane, calls were made and Stenhouse Sr. was eventually transported inside. The younger Stenhouse , who scored his first win in 158 career starts in the series for Roush Fenway Racing, said his father had climbed the fence at Kentucky Speedway after Stenhouse Jr . won for the first time in the ARCA Series in 2008. "And I climbed the other side and met him at the top," he recalled. So Sunday, he said, "I went down the back straightaway after the race was over and looked up to see if he was there, but I didn't see him. "My dad has done so much for me in my career. Everything that I've learned is from him, and you know, making sure that you have the right people around you is one of the things that he's all about, making sure that you have people that respect you, that will do anything for you, and man, he sacrificed a lot for me and my career. "Everything that I know about racing I learned from him, and I'm glad that he was able to be here in Victory Lane." &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
It's an emotional Victory Lane for Ricky Stenhouse Jr .
Ricky Stenhouse Jr . became a winner at NASCAR's highest level at Talladega Superspeedway. Hear what he had to say in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Victory Lane.
Danica Patrick: 'Perfect day' for Ricky Stenhouse Jr .
Stewart-Haas Racing driver Danica Patrick talks about seeing longtime boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr . win his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega.
@nascarcasm Q&A with Ricky Stenhouse Jr . -- aka 'Stenja'
RELATED: See Stenhouse Jr . compete on the show It's an age-old debate that's circulated around the world of professional sports for years -- are NASCAR drivers ninjas? Roush Fenway Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr . is out to prove to the doubters that the answer is an unequivocal yes, as he takes a turn on the challenging "American Ninja Warrior" course on Monday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. NASCAR.com chose yours truly to interview Stenhouse , because of my encyclopedic knowledge of ninjitsu, gleaned from years of playing Mortal Kombat, listening to Wu-Tang Clan albums and sneaking stealthily into the office, several hours late for work. Stenhouse , a fierce devotee to physical fitness and the mysterious ways of the Shinobi, sat down with me to share his ninja thoughts before disapparating into the night. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN FIERCELY DEDICATED TO PHYSICAL FITNESS? IS THIS A RECENT DEVELOPMENT? Stenhouse : When I raced sprint cars when I was still in high school I would go to the gym at 5:30 in the morning before school, go to school, and then that way when I got out of school I didn't have to work out -- I could just work on my cars because I did all the work on my race cars. After growing up in the shop with my dad and him showing me how to do everything he sort of expected me to do it when I started racing. Probably two or three years ago I started doing CrossFit, so I feel like I've probably taken it a little more seriously since then. FOR FOLKS WHO DON’T FOLLOW YOU ON INSTAGRAM, COULD YOU PROVIDE A FEW DETAILS ON YOUR HOME GYM -- IT’S CALLED SLIDE JOB RANCH, I BELIEVE? Stenhouse : ' Slide Job' is more of a term for dirt racing. We do some slide jobs in NASCAR now, but it's a term used for when you slide up in front of somebody to pass somebody. And it just happens to be the same initials of 'Stenhouse Jr .' so it just kind of tied it all in together. ... AH, PERFECT … Stenhouse : … and we were able to build a home gym at the house. It's nice -- I'm able to work out and get done, get on the tractor and go mow, or get on the dirt bike and go ride. DIFFERENT DRIVERS HAVE THEIR PREFERRED WORKOUTS, WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON AND LANDON CASSILL WITH THE TRIATHLONS, AND BUBBA WALLACE JR . PLAYING DRUMS SHIRTLESS, ETC. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC WORKOUT? Stenhouse : CrossFit is the type of workout I do, and the guy that has won the CrossFit games four times in a row, Rich Froning -- every day he sends me a workout to do. So I have, the best programmer is what you would call him to send me workouts. It's funny, when he first started sending me workouts, one day he sent me a workout, and the next day I asked 'Hey, could you send me another workout?' and he said 'Did you do the one I sent you yesterday?' I was like, 'No…' and he was like 'Well do THAT one, THEN call me.' So he was pretty tough on me, but whenever he sends one to me I make sure I send him the results. SO ON TO THE SHOW ... HAVE YOU BEEN DOING SPECIFIC NINJA TRAINING FOR THIS? Stenhouse : I wish that I would have! I went to a gym in Dallas that had some "American Ninja Warrior" obstacle stuff. That was a lot of fun and I could do all the obstacles, but I did them in about an hour time period. I didn't do a lot of stuff back to back to back. And I didn't do everything here. I looked at the course yesterday and I haven't done any of the stuff that’s out here. They switch it up all the time. Yeah … I'm really nervous! I UNDERSTAND. IS THERE ONE PARTICULAR OBSTACLE OUT THERE THAT YOU ARE DREADING? Stenhouse : I’m not sure how the log roll is gonna go (NOTE: This obstacle is a log attached to a track on either side. The ninja must cling to the log for dear life, as it rolls downward about 20 feet, spinning the competitor rapidly until it reaches the end. Picture Bristol, but with a log). I am focused on getting through one at a time. If I make it to the fifth obstacle I'll be happy. I was telling some of the IndyCar guys (NOTE: IndyCar drivers Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Josef Newgarden also compete), 'Man -- we should have done this in like, season two!' The course keeps evolving to meet the standards of the athletes who do this. I thought the course was a little easier a couple years ago when I first started watching than it is now. I wish I would have tried it a little bit sooner! GOTCHA. A LOT HAS BEEN MADE ABOUT NASCAR DRIVERS AND THEIR OFF-TRACK EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES. DOES JACK ROUSH KNOW YOU'RE A NINJA? Stenhouse : Um … probably not … OK … Stenhouse : … Jack has always been one to let his drivers enjoy what they do whether it be me riding dirt bikes or doing this ninja course or racing sprint cars. I haven't raced sprint cars for a while because he asked me not to for a while, but there’s nothing in our contracts that says we can't. Jack likes us to have fun -- I won a midget race over the offseason and he called me a couple days later to wish me a Merry Christmas. He asked me what I'd been up to and I was like, 'Umm … I won a midget race a couple of days ago … ' and he was like 'Oh, well how did that go?', so he's pretty laid back. DO YOU HAVE ANY PARTICULAR NINJAS YOU’VE IDOLIZED? Stenhouse : No, but when Danica and I started watching the show, Kacy (Catanzaro -- the first female to qualify for the 'American Ninja Warrior' finals) -- she was awesome. She got a huge following from people watching the show and it was really neat to see. But I think that if Chris Farley could be a ninja, I think that I could. THAT’S A VALID POINT. ASIDE FROM YOURSELF IF YOU COULD LOOK UP AND DOWN THE NASCAR ROSTER, WHAT DRIVER DO YOU THINK WOULD MAKE THE BEST NINJA? I JUST WANT TO COMPARE YOUR THOUGHTS TO MINE. I’VE PUT SOME DEEP THOUGHT INTO THIS. Stenhouse : Hmmm. I’m gonna have to think about this. Man. Honestly, I feel like it would be me. REALLY? Stenhouse : Yeah. INTERESTING. I DID NOT CHOOSE YOU. Stenhouse : Who were you thinking? MATT KENSETH, BECAUSE OF HIS ABILITY TO APPROACH WITH STEALTH. AND PAUL MENARD, BECAUSE OF HIS ABILITY TO MAINTAIN TOTAL SILENCE. Stenhouse : Ah -- see, I was thinking in terms of this course. I wasn't thinking of things like that. AND DENNY HAMLIN AND TONY STEWART, BECAUSE OF THEIR ABILITY TO THROW THINGS AT PEOPLE. Stenhouse : That's true. There's different ways of thinking about it. WELL I HAVE A LOT MORE FREE TIME THAN YOU DO, RICKY . IT’S OK, MAN. Stenhouse : Yeah, I was thinking of this course back here, and I think I could do better than any of the other drivers. UNDERSTOOD. FINAL QUESTION -- HAVE YOU THOUGHT OF A COOL NINJA NAME YET? BECAUSE “RICHARD THE NINJA” JUST DOESN’T WORK. Stenhouse : No … I have not. So if you want to give me one at some point ... "JACKIE CHAN-HOUSE JR ." Stenhouse : I LIKE THAT -- that's solid. WELL, GOOD LUCK OUT THERE. IT’S AN HONOR TO BE ABLE TO SAY I WAS THE LAST ONE TO SPEAK TO RICKY STENHOUSE JR . BEFORE HE BECAME A FULL-FLEDGED NINJA. Stenhouse : I hope we do you proud. BEFORE YOU START RAPPELLING DOWN FROM COLOSSUS, OR NUNCHUCKING PEOPLE. Stenhouse : If I win, I'll do that. IS THAT A PROMISE? Stenhouse : That's a promise. The eighth season of "American Ninja Warrior" premiered on NBC on June 1.
Strategy play pays off for Stenhouse Jr .
RELATED: Buy tickets for Auto Club MORE FROM PHOENIX: Race results " Standings " Detailed breakdown Though Ricky Stenhouse Jr . didn't win Sunday’s Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway by staying out on old tires -- as Ryan Newman did -- the driver of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford did hold onto fourth place during a two-lap overtime. That Stenhouse was able to score his eighth career top five is emblematic of improved performance at Roush Fenway Racing, but Stenhouse says there's still work to do. "I have definitely seen a difference in the quality (of the RFR cars)," Stenhouse said. "We still have a long way to go, but we've made a big improvement from last year, especially the end of last year. In Atlanta, we had a really good car and got the right front fender tore off on the last restart. I thought we would finish fifth to 10th there. I thought we had a 15th place car in Vegas and had an issue with the axle at the end. "Today, I thought we had a 10th-place car on the long run and took a gamble, and were able to get a better finish there at the end. I think our cars and the attitude at the shop is really good. (Teammate) Trevor (Bayne) has some solid finishes here in the first few races, and that's something encouraging and something to build off of. I feel like we have had speed, just haven't gotten the finishes for the speed we have. It's better to have speed and have to figure out how to get the finishes."
Blaney, Stenhouse , Kennedy eye 'Ninja' course
We knew they were athletes. Now we know they are ninjas, as well. Three NASCAR drivers will take part in NBC's wild and wildly popular obstacle course show "American Ninja Warrior" as part of Season 9, and one -- Richard Childress Racing driver and Daytona Beach, Florida, native Ben Kennedy -- will hit the course at the biggest stage in NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway. RELATED: 'American Ninja Warrior' comes to Daytona Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., who ran the course in Indianapolis last year, returns to tackle the obstacles once more. He'll be joined by fellow Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney, in addition to Kennedy. Kennedy's go will come this weekend in Daytona, although it will be shown on TV later this summer. Blaney and Stenhouse Jr . will appear at the show's Cleveland taping on May 8 and May 9. Kennedy's episode airs on June 26. Blaney and Stenhouse will be on the July 3 episode. Daytona is a true modern motorsports stadium and now will serve as a proving ground not only for race car drivers but also for athletes in city qualifying and city finals rounds for the show. Competitors who make it out of the finals course will move on to the national finals rounds in Las Vegas with a chance at a $1 million prize. "We're excited to serve as a host location for the filming of 'American Ninja Warrior' and add another new event to an already busy schedule," Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. "We're thrilled to welcome the competitors to the world's only motorsports stadium and provide an electric atmosphere as individuals attempt to navigate these challenging obstacles. To succeed, they are going to need strength, speed and perseverance, very similar to what we see on the high banks of the Speedway." To sign up for free tickets to attend the Daytona event, click here. &lt;/p&gt;
Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., Ty Dillon take on UFC
Watch as Ty Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr . ditch their race cars for the octagon as they train with UFC fighters in Las Vegas.