Where to begin with the news and nuggets of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. What an offseason he has add in addition to a very successful career.
Stenhouse will take the reigns of the #17 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford from the departing Matt Kenseth. Kenseth has joined Joe Gibbs Racings for 2013.
Stenhouse comes to compete for Rookie of the Year in the most significant rookie of the year competition in recent years after two consecutive Nationwide Series championships. It could also be the most popular rookie of the year competition in history as he will be competing against his girlfriend, Danica Patrick, for the honors.
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Zest, Best Buy, and Fifth-Third Bank will all return to the #17 despite Kenseth’s departure. Stenhouse is also bringing sponsorship form NOS Energy Drink for a few races.
Stenhouse will not be bringing Mike Kelly from the Nationwide Series with him to be his crew chief, but he will be paired with Scott Graves. Jimmy Fennig leaves the #17 team with Kenseth, but will stay with Roush and move over to the Carl Edwards camp to get Edwards back in the Chase for 2013.
Of course the biggest headline for Stenhouse was the announcement that he is dating on-track rival, Danica Patrick. The rumors went wild after the couple was spotted in Winston-Salem at a bull riding competition. Days later, both would confirm their relationship.