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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Mark Taylor previews this week's NASCAR race at Homestead-Miami Speedway where Toyota drivers have won three of the last four races. Will Denny Hamlin make it a four in five?
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Stenhouse has been on a two-season slide after posting his career-best Cup Series campaign in 2017. The slump cost this veteran driver his job at Roush Fenway Racing, so now he moves to JTG Daugherty Racing this season. Crew chief Brian Pattie also makes the move with Stenhouse to the No. 47 Chevrolet team. This familiar face should help in the transition. Pattie guided Stenhouse to that two victory, nine Top-10 finish campaign back in 2017. However, they do come to a team of fewer resources than the No. 17 RFR Ford so we have to be a bit reserved about the potential for the upcoming season. Stenhouse and Pattie need a fresh start, but it could take them some time to find their way with this new race team. We have a very cautious and reserved outlook for Stenhouse in 2020.
Stenhouse took some steps back last season after his career-best 2017 campaign. He registered just five Top-10 finishes during the year, and finished 18th in the final driver standings. The six-season veteran failed to make the Chase field, and failed to crack the win column after picking up two victories in 2017. Still, Stenhouse was pretty fast and reliable on the superspeedways. That's has been this team and driver's biggest strength the last few seasons. Two of Stenhouse's three Top-5 finishes last year came in both Talladega races. However, we saw the 31-year-old driver take some steps back on intermediate and larger ovals. The good news is that the team is the point car for the Roush organization and sponsorship and contracts look good for the foreseeable future. Brian Pattie returns at crew chief, and he and Stenhouse will look to regain some of their lost 2017 swagger.
Last year was a career season for the driver of the No. 17 Ford. Stenhouse nabbed a couple victories on the superspeedway circuit and posted nine total Top-10 finishes. It all led to a career-best 13th-place mark in the final driver standings. The entire No. 17 team and crew chief Brian Pattie return in 2018. It's taken five seasons to turn around this floundering race team, but Roush and Stenhouse have finally started to make some headway. We don't expect any quantum leaps for this driver and team, but another campaign of steady improvements and consistency. Another berth in the Chase for the Cup would be dependent on winning a race. Stenhouse has proven to be a dangerous driver on the superspeedways, so we wouldn't rule out a playoff seeding win.
With the departure of Greg Biffle, Stenhouse now finds himself the elder statesman of this now two-team stable at Roush Fenway Racing. The trend line for this camp hasn't been good, but at least they have some youth to point to in the driving department. Stenhouse is a two-time Xfinity Series champion, but he's yet to make his mark on NASCAR's top division. Now entering his fifth full-time season of competition in the Monster Energy Cup Series, the pressure to perform will be squarely on Stenhouse's shoulders. He posted career-best marks in Top 5s and Top 10s last season with four and six respectively. However, his 21st-place finish in the driver standings is what is most concerning. Unless some major things change in the No. 17 Ford camp, a berth in the Chase is a slim possibility this season.
As we enter season four of the Stenhouse era at Roush Fenway Racing, the young driver comes to a crossroads in his Sprint Cup Series career. Rather than improvement, we've seen some fairly consistent performance marks from the driver of the No. 17 Ford through his first three seasons in NASCAR's top division. Last year he only collected three top-10 finishes and ended up a lowly 25th in the driver standings after Homestead. Those are marks comparable to previous years. The time to improve is now, and the burden is on Roush to give Stenhouse better cars and better guidance. Nick Sandler returns as crew chief for this driver and team in 2016, but both Sandler and Stenhouse will be on the hot seat if they turn in another lackluster performance this season. This is a contract year for the young driver so we believe they'll be some improvement, but not tremendous by any measure.
1. The two-time reigning Nationwide Series champion will take on his first full season of racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Stenhouse takes over the famous No. 17 Ford for the departed Matt Kenseth and he has some pretty big shoes to fill right off. The young driver is not completely unacquainted with the Cup car. Stenhouse made five starts in NASCAR’s top division over the last two years. He’ll use that experience to his full advantage in 2013. When we look back in history and Roush Fenway Racing rookies we’re reminded of David Ragan. The comparisons between him and Stenhouse are striking. In fact, we think their rookie campaigns could be just as similar. Lots of lessons learned and around 7-9 Top-10 finishes for the ROTY candidate.
More Fantasy News
Runner-up Finish at Talladega
Stenhouse Jr. finished second in the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway Monday afternoon.
Top-5 Finish at Charlotte
Stenhouse Jr. finished fourth in the Alsco Uniforms 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Thursday night.
Not taking part at Dover iRacing
L1 Penalty Assessed
The JTG Daugherty Racing Nos. 37 and 47 teams were issued L1-level penalties Sunday after NASCAR officials discovered the team's Chevrolets were not in compliance with the NASCAR Cup Series Rule Book in pre-qualifying inspection, NASCAR.com reports.
Third in Pennzoil 400
Stenhouse Jr. finished third in the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon.