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.
Returning to NHRA Funny Car competition after a two-year hiatus, Alexis DeJoria has announced her new team will be sponsored by ABK Beer and ROKiT Phones for the full 24-race 2020 NHRA national event season.
ABK Beer is a 700-year-old Bavarian beer brand, while ROKiT further expands its reach in motorsports, also sponsoring the ROKiT Williams Racing Formula 1 team and the ROKiT Venturi Racing Formula E team.
Both brands have signed multi-year deals to sponsor DeJoria and her 11,000-horsepower Toyota Camry Funny Car. Also, in a unique twist, ROKiT smartphones will engage fans of DeJoria and NHRA with “innovative 3D content,” according to a media release.
“Joining Del Worsham’s newly-formed DC Motorsports team was just the first step in reigniting my quest at being the first female Funny Car world champion, and I’m thrilled that ROKiT is coming along for the ride,” DeJoria said in the media release. “I can’t wait to get back on the track and am energized and excited about all the things we have in store for the amazing NHRA fans.”
DeJoria will join a number of Top Fuel and Funny Car teams in Las Vegas for the annual preseason test-and-tune – otherwise known as “spring training” – on February 1 and 2.
This is the first time the test session will be held at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It has previously been held for at least the last two decades at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.
The 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season opens the following weekend — February 6-9 — with the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.
DeJoria, who is married to reality TV star Jesse James, is particularly looking forward to returning to Pomona. It was there where she made drag racing history, becoming the first female to clock a sub-four second run (3.997 seconds) in the 2014 season opener.