Reigning NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will get some early practice for his 2013 job of driving the No. 17 Ford in the Sprint Cup Series for car owner Jack Roush. Roush said this past weekend that Stenhouse will attempt to qualify for three of the eight races remaining on the Sprint Cup schedule.
Stenhouse, who has two-career Cup starts already, plans to drive the No. 6 for Roush Fenway Racing on Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Plans also having him attempting the Oct. 13 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 18. The No. 6, which has been on the track only sparingly this year, is not in the top-35 in owner points, so Stenhouse will be required to qualify for the three aforementioned races.
According to Roush, Stenhouse’s Cup docket for the remainder of 2012 may be expanded.
“We’re organized for three races with him at Dover, Charlotte and Homestead, but if we decide his prospects for winning the Nationwide championship are improved by running more Sprint Cup races, we’ll do that,” Roush said. “And if we decide there’s a sponsor that expresses interest and wants to take a look at him, or to be on board for an additional venue, we’ll do that as well.”
Scott Graves is expected to be Stenhouse’s crew chief for these three plus Sprint Cup races. Jimmy Fenning, current crew chief on the No. 17 driven by Matt Kenseth for the remainder of the year, is expected to remain with the team upon Stenhouse’s arrival in 2013.
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