Ricky Stenhouse Jr. scored his first career NASCAR Cup win last week at Talladega Superspeedway. The win came in his 158th career start. As with every first Cup win, the celebration is normally an emotional one.
Last Sunday was no different, as Stenhouse celebrated with his father, and his girlfriend fellow NASCAR Cup driver Danica Patrick.
This week, Stenhouse received congratulations from all over including former school teachers and even the governor of his home state of Mississippi.
The person Stenhouse is perhaps closest too however wasn’t among them, beyond Sunday.
Patrick said Friday at Kansas Speedway that there was no trash talking, nor bragging rights after the win.
“We absolutely never mess with each other when it comes to that stuff,” Patrick said. “I think it is obviously because it means so much to us that it is a pretty crappy thing to do. Would you mess with your wife or girlfriend? I mean when it comes to golf or something I will totally mess with him but when it comes to something like this, no. We don’t talk about that at all.”
Patrick saw her race at Talladega end early with a crash.
“I was just simply happy for him,” she said. “My weekend sucked yet again. Actually, my weekend didn’t really suck. I had a fine race going on It just ended early so I had another terrible result which has been the case so far this year.”
While her race did end early, she found consolation in the result. It meant she was able to be out of her racecar before the end of the race.
“If I was going to have one race where I didn’t get to get all the way to the finish line and either finish the race, have a good finish or win, I am really glad I had the chance to watch him win,” Patrick said. “I think that was pretty cool and that I was ready to go. All I did was throw my tennis shoes on and got out the door on the golf cart and went to victory lane and waited for him to pull in.”
“That was a gift of an experience to be able to have in our relationship because most of the time I would be dealing with my team and dealing with whatever I had going on,” she added. “I had that chance to regroup. I was fresh as a daisy. I had showered and spend the afternoon standing around celebrating with him. It was a great day. But we don’t talk about that stuff.”