NASCAR: Top drivers of 2014 – No. 27 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Season finish: 27th

2014 Season Stats: 0 Wins, 1 Top-5, 5 Top-10s, 0 Poles.

What went right: After opening the year with a Top-10 at the Daytona 500, Stenhouse was part of a 1-2 finish for Roush Fenway Racing (and a 1-2-3 podium sweep for Ford) just a few weeks later at Bristol as he chased teammate Carl Edwards to the checkered flag. Other solid results came at Talladega (10th in the spring), New Hampshire (ninth in the summer), and in the return race at Bristol in August (sixth).

What went wrong: With Roush Fenway Racing continuing its decline, Stenhouse’s season was largely a crummy one. Plagued by mediocre performance, he tumbled from 19th in the standings in 2013 all the way down to 27th in 2014 – and he didn’t even lead a single lap. His lowest point had to be failing to make the Talladega Chase race after one of the most bizarre qualifying sessions in NASCAR history.

2015 Prospectus: After picking up back-to-back NASCAR XFINITY Series titles in 2011 and 2012, Stenhouse’s first two years in the Cup Series have been so-so at best. Roush Fenway’s overall woes have not helped him but if the team is able to put better cars on the track in 2015, Stenhouse is gonna have to make sure he capitalizes on that.