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Stenhouse, JTG Daugherty take pleasure in ‘validation’ of Daytona 500 win

A timely caution following a strategic pass for the lead on the final lap of the second overtime preserved Stenhouse’s win in the NASCAR Cup season opener. It was a much-needed win for Stenhouse and his team. Stenhouse had last won in 2017 – a winless streak of 199 races. While JTG Daugherty’s only previous

Stenhouse, JTG Daugherty take pleasure in ‘validation’ of Daytona 500 win

A well timed warning following a strategic go for the lead on the ultimate lap of the second time beyond regulation preserved Stenhouse’s win within the NASCAR Cup season opener.

It was a much-needed win for Stenhouse and his crew.

Stenhouse had final received in 2017 – a winless streak of 199 races. Whereas JTG Daugherty’s solely earlier Cup victory had some in 2014 with driver A.J. Allmendinger at Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Each driver and crew had been seeking to return to contenders and successful the game’s largest race actually gives a formidable assertion.

Race winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing, Chevrolet Camaro

Race winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing, Chevrolet Camaro

Photograph by: Ben Earp / NKP / Motorsport Images

The street to constant success within the Cup Sequence has been a bumpy one for each driver and crew a consequence equivalent to Sunday’s helps present affirmation each are on the precise path.

“Make no mistake, it is a battle. The competitors on this collection is fierce and it’s critical, and we’re blessed to have the companions that we’ve and the sponsors that we’ve,” mentioned crew co-owner Jodi Geschickter. “However it’s a battle and it’s a struggle, and it’s arduous.

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“It’s not for lack of effort. We’ve come actually shut, so I strive to not get our hopes up. When it was the final lap (Sunday evening) and there’s one other warning, I simply suppose, ‘Expensive Lord, please, no. We want it. We want it, and we’d like it now. We want it tonight. We want it to occur.’

“And it did.”

Stenhouse, 35, was is the same state of affairs in his profession.

Regardless of successful back-to-back titles within the Xfinity Sequence in 2011 and 2012 with Roush Fenway Racing, he went winless in his first 4 seasons in Cup.

Then in 2017, Stenhouse earned his first two collection wins – at Talladega and the Daytona summer time race. However that success was fleeting as he didn’t win the following two years and misplaced his journey at Roush.

Stenhouse received a second likelihood becoming a member of JTG Daugherty in 2020, which has since change into a single-car operation. The group struggled final 12 months within the debut season for the Subsequent Gen automobile, ending twenty sixth within the collection standings.

“Positively by no means thought of giving up. I felt like, yeah, 2017, successful a pair races was big for us, however I’ll even look again at that season, and we nonetheless weren’t tremendous stellar,” he mentioned. “We had our ups and downs. However clearly two wins type of places a Band-Help on a few of these issues you can overlook.

“However I feel for me, coming to JTG Daugherty Racing was a pleasant reset. We had two vehicles on the time, moved to a single-car crew, which I feel has been helpful. We’ve been capable of put numerous concentrate on the No. 47 automobile, and everyone within the store.”

Stenhouse mentioned he and the crew skilled “a fantastic second” over the offseason throughout a crew lunch.

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“They’d a video put collectively, and it put a few of JTG’s wins in there, my wins in there, and type of helped us notice that – hey, we’d like these wins collectively, and realized that we may try this.

“We’ve each accomplished it in our previous, so it’s particular to do it collectively.”

Sunday’s win now opens a slew of alternatives for the group.

Stenhouse is all-but ensured a spot within the 16-driver playoffs, which gives a possibility for him to win his first collection championship and in flip shines a fair larger highlight on the group and its sponsors.

“You’re employed arduous, you might want to end issues,” Jodi Geschickter mentioned. “For me, that seems like validation. That seems like a end. We wanted that. Our guys wanted that. Our sponsors wanted that.

“Kroger folks have been with us for 16 years. They wanted that. They wanted to see us in Victory Lane. They wanted to be there with us. I’m simply thrilled to demise that we had been ready to do this collectively.”

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