Phoenix: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. preview
* The Driver...Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will make his Phoenix NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the Bashas Supermarkets 200 this Saturday. However, Stenhouse has raced a sprint car at PIR. * The Organization...Roush Fenway Racing has seven wins, 19 top ...
* The Driver...Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will make his Phoenix NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the Bashas Supermarkets 200 this Saturday. However, Stenhouse has raced a sprint car at PIR.
* The Organization...Roush Fenway Racing has seven wins, 19 top fives and 30 top 10's in 44 Nationwide Series starts on the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway. RFR drivers Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards won Nationwide races at PIR in 2009.
* The Machine...The No. 6 Ford Fusion will be white this weekend, the third of 17 currently unsponsored races for Stenhouse who is running a full season. For 18 races, CitiFinancial will be the primary sponsor. The team will use chassis # RK-632 in the Bashas Supermarkets 200. This chassis was used three times in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition in 2009. Erik Darnell finished 12th in Richmond (5/09), fourth in Milwaukee (6/09) and 29th at O'Reilly Raceway Park (7/09).
* Getting Schooled...Stenhouse is attending Bob Bondurant High Performance Driving School in Phoenix this week in preparation for the three road course races on the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule.
* Rearview Mirror...The No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing team sits 36th in NASCAR Nationwide Series owner point standings after five races. Stenhouse finished 31st at Nashville Superspeedway last week.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"PIR is a track that seems pretty racy. It's a one-day show which is something that I am use to from back in my sprint car days. It's going to be good to be on the track pretty much all day so that will help me get into a rhythm. Since we have to get in on time, we're going to have to be a little more focused on qualifying trim but I am confident the guys that work on my No. 6 Ford Fusion will have it pretty fast. Since I have never raced a stock car in Phoenix, I am going to talk to my teammates, especially Carl (Edwards) about lines around the track and how it races. Carl is really fast there and probably should have won the last three in a row there so I am going to take advantage of that."
Crew Chief Ben Leslie on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"It's a cool place but it's very different on each end of the racetrack. It has two distinct corners and has a dog-leg on the back stretch. It's a challenge because you never get the car good at both ends of the track. Usually you can give up turn three and four a little bit more than one and two. If you get to where you are excellent in one corner and you can just maintain it in another regardless of which one it is, that will work out for you but I think turn one might be slightly more important than three or four."