Ricky Stenhouse Jr. always knew his future was with Roush Fenway Racing -- at least since moving to stock cars.
The defending Nationwide Series champion even believed he would be driver No. 4 in the RFR Sprint Cup stable in 2013.
But imagine the 24-year-old's surprise when Stenhouse discovered he'd be replacing veteran Matt Kenseth, a former Cup champion and the driver many believe to be the cornerstone of Roush Fenway Racing.
For Stenhouse or any other race car driver, it would be difficult driving shoes to fill.
Yet Stenhouse learned two years ago not to take opened doors for granted. With tough love, team owner Jack Roush taught Stenhouse how painful it can be watching the action from the sidelines. After crashing out in five of the first 12 races his rookie year and not qualifying for the 13th event, Stenhouse was put on time out by Roush.
The experience taught Stenhouse valuable lessons including humility. As he rode with his parents from their home in Olive Branch, Miss.,...