Found November 02, 2012 on
Speedway Digest - Home for NASCAR News:
Victory has helped fuel Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s hopes for a second straight NASCAR Nationwide Series championship, which appeared to be headed in reverse before his win two weeks ago at Kansas Speedway.
Stenhouse, who has trailed points leader Elliott Sadler for four straight races, watched his deficit slowly grow -- from four points after Kentucky to nine points after Dover to 13 points after Charlotte. Now on the heels of his Kansas win and heading to a track where he won in April, the defending series champ hopes the momentum is headed in the right direction.
Stenhouse heads to Texas Motor Speedway for Saturday night's O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) with a six-point deficit to Sadler. A season sweep of events at the 1.5-mile Fort Worth track would strengthen his bid to become the first repeat champ since Martin Truex Jr. (2004-'05).
Last season's march to the Nationwide crown was solidified by an error-free closing stretch, which included a sixth, a fifth and a runner-up finish to outrun Sadler in the final points. This season's victory total (six) has far outpaced last season's (two), but Stenhouse knows that consistency will factor into how this year's points race shakes out.
"I think this year we're in more contention to win races, and so I think sometimes I lose track of that we've got a championship to win, and I go out to win races," Stenhouse said. "I think last year -- we've kind of got to get back to last year where we don't make any mistakes the last three races. But I don't think it's any easier. I think it's actually a little tougher to get your second one in a row. But I think we're up for the challenge."
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Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. comes into the Texas Motor Speedway as the most recent winner at the track. Stenhouse captured the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 in April after leading 68 laps. Prior to that he had two top 10 finishes in 2011 and 2010 yielded mixed results with a 29th in the spring and 11th in the fall.
Team: No. 6 NOS Energy Drink Ford Mustang
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Kevin Harvick was victorious in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Harvick’s win in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge was his second in the Nationwide Series this season.
Kyle Busch started on the pole in the No. 54 Toyoyta. Busch led much of the early portions of the race but Harvick came on strong as the race developed. Ryan Blaney moved up to second...
With just a few races to go in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, there's a great battle going on, but no one should overlook the battle that we've seen in the Nationwide Series, which has basically come down to a three-car race with Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the defending champion, and Elliott Sadler.
In the series most recent race, at Kansas Speedway, everyone...
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the No. 6 NOS Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing is currently second in the NASCAR Nationwide Series points standings, only six points behind leader Elliott Sadler. Fresh off his sixth victory of the season at Kansas, Stenhouse could become the sixth driver in series history to win consecutive series titles. The last driver to win back-to-back championships...
Kevin Harvick led 127 laps and won the NASCAR Nationwide race at Texas for the fifth time Saturday night, while Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got even with Elliott Sadler for the season points lead with two races left.
Stenhouse fought a loose car much of the night, and managed a fourth-place finish to make up his six-point deficit to Sadler, who finished 11th. Stenhouse's six victories...
Three-Man Race With Three Races To Go
Championship implications, high speeds, close quarters and an Asphalt Circus can’t waiver the focus of the top three contenders in the NASCAR Nationwide Series title hunt. Standings leader Elliott Sadler holds court with three races remaining, leading by just six points ahead of second-place Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and 26 up on Sunoco Rookie of...