It’s incredible to me that I went so long without knowing that Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s nickname of Wrecky Spinhouse. It’s apparently been around for a few years, but it’s gone unknown to me, but I am a much happier person now that I’m aware if it. A lot of people like to pick fun at him, and I see why and a lot of times I don’t disagree with the notion and this year in his new ride did nothing to change that fact.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is a polarizing figure in NASCAR, a guy who seemed to have all the talent in the world, while maybe being a bit reckless, to becoming a NASCAR bust and being totally reckless. His aggressive driving style is always highlighted at Daytona and Talladega, the only two spots he has been able to find success at. 

After an uninspiring effort at shell of what was formerly known as Roush-Fenway Racing; Stehouse moved on to JTG Daugherty Racing.  He found about the same amount of success in 2020 with 3 top five’s and 4 top ten’s.  Comparing him to the driver of the #47 last season, Ryann Preece it’s a slight improvement, though barely. If you then compare him to the driver that he was all but traded for in Chris Buescher who took his seat at RFR after driving the #37-car for JTG Daugherty in 2019, we can see some  better results.  Buescher’s average finish and points standings in 2019 was better than Stenhouse’s, though not overwhelmingly.

Overall, Stenhouse’s 2020 campaign is on par for what you’d expect out of any driver. There are no general changes going on at JTG Daugherty and so I don’t expect any major competition upgrades for the team.  This is a team and driver in limbo with little expectations for 2021. 

Best-Case Scenario:

Wins: 1

Top Fives: 2

Top Tens: 5

Worst-Case Scenario:

Wins: 0

Top Fives: 0

Top Tens: 3

As usual. Stenhouse is always a threat at the superspeedways if he doesn’t wreck. I think the best-case scenario is an upset win at one of the superspeedway races, paired with his average amount of top ten finishes.

Stenhouse has not demonstrated any improvement since his breakout year in 2017 and there’s nothing that leads me to believe he won’t continue down that flat line trajectory. I’d like to believe he’ll perform well enough to keep the team afloat, but with all the obstacles facing NASCAR in 2021, there is the potential for a down season.

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