|Birthdate:||October 2, 1987|
|Hometown:||Olive Branch, Miss.|
|First Career Cup Start:||May 29, 2011 (Charlotte)|
|Career Wins:||2 (Cup) | 8 (Xfinity)|
|Career Poles:||2 (Cup) | 8 (Xfinity)|
|Best Championship Finish:||13th – 2017 (Cup) | 1st – 2011, 2012 (NXS)|
After winning two NASCAR Xfinity Series championships with Roush Fenway Racing, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. moved to the NASCAR Cup Series full-time with the team starting in 2013.
Stenhouse, the 2013 Rookie of the Year, saw his best season in Cup to date come in 2017 when he notched his first two Cup Series victories, at Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway. He qualified for the playoffs as the No. 8 seed and finished 13th in the final championship standings after posting a career-high nine top 10s.
The 2019 season marked Stenhouse Jr.’s last with RFR as he will move to JTG Daugherty Racing in 2020 to drive to the No. 47 Chevrolet. He finished 23rd in the standings before making the move.
At the age of six, Stenhouse began racing go-karts and by 15, he had earned 47 A-main karting victories and more than 90 podium finishes. In 1998 he won the Indoor Thunder Go-Kart Nationals A-main, as well as the 1999 Tulsa Shootout A-main title. He moved into 360 winged sprint cars in 2003 and won the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Driver Poll and Dirt Winged Sprint Car Rookie of the Year. He was also named the Memphis Motorsports Park Rookie of the Year that same year.
In 2004, Stenhouse made his first USAC National Sprint Car Series start at Memphis, qualifying fourth and finishing seventh in the feature event. He also went on to win an American Sprint Car Series A-main in West Memphis, Ark., and the Memphis Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park later that year. In 2005, Stenhouse earned a fourth-place finish in the Knoxville 360 Nationals in addition to winning four United Sprint Car Series feature events.
The 2006 season served as Stenhouse’s breakout year. He was the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Driver Poll Wild Card title winner in both the 360 and 410 winged sprint car divisions. Winning four USCS main events, Stenhouse expanded into the USAC ranks and several other racing divisions to help gain valuable experience.
Stenhouse kicked off the 2007 season by winning two of three races at Manzanita Speedway in the Copper on Dirt event in February. Capturing both the USAC National Sprint Car and Silver Crown feature events, he proved he could successfully make the transition from winged sprint cars to non-winged machines. Stenhouse then got the call from Tony Stewart Racing to drive the team’s USAC National Sprint and Midget cars when Tracey Hines was injured in an off-track incident. In only his second start with TSR, Stenhouse drove the No. 21 entry into victory lane during USAC National Midget Car Series competition at Tri-State Speedway.
Stenhouse went on to gain the respect of some of USAC’s best drivers demonstrating week-in and week-out why he was considered one of the best at just 19 years of age. In 26 USAC National Midget starts, Stenhouse racked up five wins, 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. In the USAC Sprint car, Stenhouse was equally as impressive garnering two wins, nine top-five and 16 top-10 finishes in 29 starts. He also captured 2007 Rookie-of-the-Year honors in both the USAC Midget and Sprint car divisions.
In the summer of 2007, Stenhouse received a call from Jack Roush and Roush Fenway Racing inviting him to be a part of the NASCAR team. Stenhouse accepted the offer and went on to become one of the top contenders in the ARCA Series in 2008. Stenhouse captured two wins (Kentucky and Pocono), 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in just 21 starts. He also won three consecutive pole awards at DuQuoin, Chicago and Salem, breaking the track records at both DuQuoin and Chicago. In one of the closest points races in ARCA history, Stenhouse led the point standings for 13 weeks and remained in contention for the championship until the final race at Toledo where an on-track incident ended his title hopes, relegating him to a fourth-place finish in the point standings.
Stenhouse moved to the ranks of the Xfinity Series in 2009 where he scored his first career pole at Iowa Speedway along with one top-five and two top-10 finishes in seven starts.
In addition to his Xfinity Series championship-winning campaign in 2011, Stenhouse made his Cup Series debut in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Subbing for Trevor Bayne, who was still sidelined by illness, Stenhouse started ninth and finished 11th in the famed No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford.
In 2012, Stenhouse won the Xfinity Series championship for the second year in a row after recording six wins, 19 top fives and 26 top 10s. He also made four starts in the Cup Series with a best finish of 12th in the fall race at Dover.
When he’s not racing, Stenhouse enjoys golf, racquetball, basketball and working out. Born in Memphis, Tenn., Stenhouse is an avid fan of country music.