Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has a new favorite ride … well, next to his Sprint Cup car, that is

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You know, if this whole NASCAR thing doesn’t work out for Ricky Stenhouse Jr., he can always try his luck at the riding lawnmower racing circuit.

Just kidding, Ricky.

But Stenhouse is featured in a unique story on GolfIndustry.com, talking about his newly purchased Dixie Chopper XCaliber Twin riding mower – rather appropriately named since the Mississippi native hails from deep in Dixie – that he likes to drive, cut grass and relieve some of the stress of the Sprint Cup Series, all at the same time.

This baby has some power to it, too – although its 54 horsepower pales in comparison to the 800-plus horsies Stenhouse has in his Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion.

As the story said, “The XCaliber Twin delivers industry-leading power that slices through even the thickest grass with ease.”

How much does Stenhouse love his new ride?

“When the mower first arrived, I jumped right on and cut until dark (around his Concord, N.C. estate),” Stenhouse told the web site. “I try and get out here once a week and mow as much as I can.

“At first I was going to get a tractor with a rotary attachment and they asked me, ‘What size, five foot, six foot?’ ” Stenhouse said. “I said I might as well get an XCaliber, it’s more than six feet across and it mows way faster than a tractor.”

Interestingly enough, while the story mentions that the 26-year-old Stenhouse as a two-time Nationwide Series champion and Sprint Cup Rookie of the year last season, not one word was mentioned about his No. 1 love, fellow driver Danica Patrick.

But Stenhouse’s new ride is also already near and dear to his heart, as well.

“I love the fact that I don’t have to slow the mower down at all,” Stenhouse said. “And the unit’s maneuverability allows me to easily mow between fence posts, which really cuts down on the weed eating.”

Who knows, Danica may start to get a little jealous after hearing of Ricky’s upgrade plans for his new ride.

“On pit road at Darlington, a couple of the drivers came down and asked me about the mower, just amazed at how much horsepower it has,” Stenhouse said. “But I’m probably the only driver mowing his own lawn. I love it so much I’m going to get a light kit for the machine so I can mow at night.”

Might want to keep a sleeping bag handy out in the mower shed, just in case, Ricky.

Click here to read the whole story and see a photo of Stenhouse’s new toy.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Montoya: ‘Hopefully I get a chance to do Indy again’ (VIDEO)

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Juan Pablo Montoya is on site at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, his latest trip in a summer and fall filled with a lot of international travel and a number of different race cars he’s been in.

Montoya is committed to a full season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Acura Team Penske in 2018, as he’ll share one of the team’s Acura ARX-05s with Dane Cameron.

However, the question of whether he’ll be able to race in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil remains.

Team Penske has said it plans to only run four cars next month of May, with Helio Castroneves as the fourth driver alongside the three full-time cars driven by Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.

While Montoya has said elsewhere that he’s shopping offers and has talked with other teams, it’d be highly surprising to see the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion who developed the Chevrolet engine for IndyCar’s 2018 Dallara universal body kit in a Honda-powered IndyCar, although he is running Honda’s brand (Acura) in sports cars.

Montoya elaborated on his Indy 500 prospects in an interview with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton at the Circuit of The Americas.

“Not full-time no,” Montoya told NBCSN of his IndyCar 2018 prospects. “Hopefully I get a chance to go to Indy, hopefully with Penske, (and) if not someone else. We’ll see.”

Photo: IndyCar

Montoya has extolled the early testing both on the 2018 IndyCar and on the Acura ARX-05.

The first Acura chassis has run at Road Atlanta and Sebring International Raceway thus far, and will be put through its paces at other venues over the next few months.

“It’s been good. We did a lot of work with INDYCAR on that car. Fans are gonna like it,” Montoya said of the 2018 kit.

“Going to IMSA with the Acura program, we’ve done a lot of testing. It’s a beauty to drive. It drives better than what it looks! I haven’t had that much fun driving a race car in a long time.”

Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international (DPi) race car to be campaigned by Team Penske in 2018