Mississippi native and latest Geico 500 champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spoke with The JT Show on Wednesday regarding his big win.
“There were a couple of things that played into that,” said Stenhouse Jr. “Jimmy (Johnson) got me going after that restart, and my spotter told me that the 5 car had a lot of momentum around turn 2… I needed a little more help from Jimmy to finally clear the 18. Then it was all about trying to block who was closest to us.”
Stenhouse Jr. said he loves the excitement for the fans.
“But we don’t want it to be too exciting,” said Stenhouse Jr. “We just want to win.”
He also spoke to growing his fan base.
“I spoke to Earnhardt Jr. and I said ‘now that you’re retiring, I need to take your fans from Talladega.’ Maybe since I’m a junior too they’ll just slide right over.”
The champion said he wouldn’t have been able to pull this off without his crew.
“I believe in my 17 man team, and they believe in me,” said Stenhouse Jr. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without them.”
During his victory speech, Stenhouse Jr. acknowledged Mississippi as his home turf.
Stenhouse Jr. is the second Mississippian to clinch a cup series win.Lake Chambers Speed from Jackson was the first, and spoke of Stenhouse Jr.’s victory.
“He’s driving aggressive and doing a good job,” said Speed. “Everyone I know that knows him says he’s such a great man.”