Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
1000Bulbs.com Advance (Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, AL.)
Friday, October 12, 2018
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the No. 17 SunnyD Ford Fusion, got his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win at Talladega Superspeedway last season. He came into the infield media center earlier today to talk about the track and some other issues.
RICKY STENHOUSE JR., No. 17 SunnyD Ford Fusion – HOW DOES IT FEEL TO COME BACK HERE? “It’s always fun coming back home and come back to the place of your first win. Obviously, for me it’s nice because friends and family come down and I get to see them and it just feels good to be here. I’m excited to get back on the track. I think we had a really good run here in the spring. I wish I had done a few things different there in the spring, coming down the last few laps. Hopefully, I learned a little something there, so when it comes down to it we can put ourselves in a little bit better position and cross the finish line first.”
IS IT CONCERNING TO SEE WHAT KASEY KAHNE IS GOING THROUGH, ESPECIALLY SINCE NOBODY SEEMS TO KNOW THE REASON BEHIND HIS DEHYDRATION ISSUES? “Yeah, obviously dehydration is one of the biggest elements in our cars as hot as they are. There are races that you feel pretty bad afterwards when you’re sweating so much. Continuing to work out and continuing to make sure that you’re hydrating yourself and doing all the right things before the race and then I guess, if anything, it’s nice to at least know and he’s done some testing and maybe we can look at those results and actually see if there’s a way to maybe be a little proactive about it – maybe when you start feeling some of those symptoms come on as far as being run down and things like that after the races, like Kasey has been dealing with. No doubt that probably had issues with his performance over the years with maybe not knowing that those issues were there and it’s definitely a bummer that he couldn’t finish out the season with us. I was just working out with him yesterday some and I know he really wanted to finish out the year and try and get a good, solid run to the end for his retirement. I think he’s gonna be pretty happy running sprint cars and doing things like that, but definitely something that’s just another element that us drivers will think about, for sure.”
DOES THE CRITICISM FROM DAYTONA IN JULY CHANGE HOW YOU APPROACH THIS RACE? “No, I don’t really care about criticism. I think we’re all in this business and you get criticized for something all the time. I feel like a lot of fans criticize you. They’re the ones watching in the grandstands and they don’t change the way I race. I’m gonna go out there and put on a show and try to put our SunnyD Ford in victory lane and that’s really my only concern for our team. Now, being that it’s a Playoff race it’s always a little bit different. You always try and give those Playoff guys a little bit of extra room and be a little more cautious around them. That’s just how it is, so since I’ve been at the Cup level this speedway race is always a little more nerve-racking in the Playoffs. There are things you want to do that you might not do otherwise just because it is a Playoff race, so from that aspect you’re a little more conservative.”
THERE HAVE BEEN SOME BIG LOSSES IN THE SPRINT CAR WORLD LATELY. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CAN BE ADDRESSED OR ARE THESE JUST FREAK THINGS? “Yeah, it’s been unfortunate over the last several years and obviously knowing a lot of the drivers and racing with them and competing with them. I actually was just talking to our chassis manufacturer, Jack Elam, yesterday and just talking about the things that some of the rule changes that they’re implementing for next year – trying to strengthen the top of the cage and things along those lines. So I’m definitely glad they’re taking steps. I’m not an engineer, so I don’t know exactly how to make the cars safer or try and let that happen less. I feel like a lot of the incidents are somewhat totally separate. None of the incidents have been exactly the same, so I think that’s always a little confusing and tough to kind of pinpoint what the issue is, so definitely glad that the Outlaws are taking steps of trying to make them safer and they’re gonna continue to do that over time, for sure.”