Big Machine Racing Turns to NASCAR Veteran for Pocono

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Getty Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will join Big Machine Racing at Pocono Raceway.

The No. 48 Big Machine Racing Chevrolet Camaro will have a new driver during the Xfinity Series trip to Pocono Raceway. The team will turn to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the battle with the Tricky Triangle.

The NASCAR Roster Portal provided the update on July 18. The entry for the No. 48 originally had Tyler Reddick in the No. 48, but the list changed after the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Now Stenhouse will make his first-ever Xfinity Series start at Pocono Raceway while pulling double-duty.

While Stenhouse has no previous Xfinity Series starts at Pocono Raceway due to the track joining the series schedule in 2016, he does have 18 in the Cup Series. The past four have been with JTG Daugherty Racing and have resulted in a 17th-place finish, two 15th-place finishes, and a 38th-place finish. An engine issue disrupted his most recent start.

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Stenhouse Will Make His Return After Several Years

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

GettyRicky Stenhouse Jr. has not competed in Xfinity since 2016.

Unlike many of the Cup Series drivers, Stenhouse has not made regular starts in the Xfinity Series. He hasn’t actually suited up for a race in the series since the 2016 season when he competed at Phoenix Raceway and finished third.

While he hasn’t competed in the Xfinity Series recently, Stenhouse has 108 starts and three full-time seasons (2010-2012) to his name. All were with Roush Fenway Racing — now RFK Racing.

Stenhouse’s best seasons were 2011 and 2012. He won eight combined races and posted top-10 finishes in 77.6% of his starts. The Mississippi native ended both seasons as the champion after holding off Elliott Sadler both times.

These performances propelled Stenhouse to the Cup Series for the 2013 season. He has been full-time at the top level of NASCAR ever since, and he won twice in 348 starts. Now he will head to Pocono Raceway and attempt to add two more wins while pulling double-duty.

The No. 48 Has Contended Recently

Xfinity Series

GettyBig Machine Racing has fielded competitive cars in 2022.

There have been multiple drivers that have controlled the No. 48, and they have achieved a range of success. A couple of drivers have contended for wins while others have dealt with crashes that disrupted their performances.

Jade Buford is a fitting example. He qualified well early in the season, but he posted three DNFs in the first five races. He then followed this stretch up with a top-10 at Circuit of the Americas. Similarly, Austin Dillon qualified well at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but he ended the day early after a crash.

Tyler Reddick and Ty Dillon have accounted for the other top-10 finishes. Reddick has made five starts in the No. 48, a run that included a fourth-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway and a win at Texas Motor Speedway. Dillon made his debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and he finished sixth.

Stenhouse will be the sixth driver on a list that also includes Kaz Grala. He will take over the No. 48 Big Machine Racing Chevrolet Camaro, and he will pursue a strong finish while battling with some drivers that he will soon see on Sundays.

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