The No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing is going to have a bright scheme for the NASCAR Cup Series trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX). Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will bring back the fan-favorite SunnyD scheme.
JTG Daugherty Racing announced the news on March 1. The team showcased the Gen 7 version of the SunnyD scheme that features the orange and blue colors, as well as the large bottle of the beverage on the sides. Stenhouse will put the scheme on full display during practice and qualifying on March 5, as well as in the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube on March 6.
Along with the trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Stenhouse will showcase the SunnyD scheme for two other Cup Series races. He will bring back the scheme for the race at Circuit of The Americas on Sunday, March 27th, and Richmond Raceway on Sunday, April 3rd.
“SunnyD has been a longstanding partner during my racing career, and I’ve developed some great friendships along the way,” Stenhouse said in a statement from JTG Daugherty Racing. “We’re proud to have them back at JTG Daugherty Racing and we’re looking forward to keeping the momentum going with SunnyD at Las Vegas on Sunday.”
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Stenhouse has previously used a SunnyD scheme for multiple races in his Cup Series career, both at Roush Fenway Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing. He most recently showcased the SunnyD scheme during the 2021 season. He headed to Sonoma Raceway with the orange and blue No. 47 Chevrolet and plans to continue pushing for a spot in the playoffs. However, he was unable to complete the race due to an engine issue.
Stenhouse Has Showcased Speed During the 2022 Season
The driver of the No. 47 is the lone member of the JTG Daugherty Racing roster during the 2022 season, marking a change from 2021 when he worked with Ryan Preece. The change, as well as the move to the Gen 7 stock car, has paid early dividends in terms of stage points and strong performances.
Stenhouse kicked off the season with the Daytona 500. He started 18th overall in the No. 47 Chevrolet, but he quickly made his move into the top 10. Stenhouse finished fourth in Stage 1 and fifth in Stage 2 to score some crucial points. He was also in contention for a strong finish with fewer than 10 laps remaining in the race, but contact from Brad Keselowski sparked a wreck and ended his day on Lap 194.
While he was unable to complete the season-opening race, Stenhouse rebounded and turned in another strong performance at Auto Club Speedway. He grabbed points at the end of Stage 1 while showcasing a Cheerios scheme and then he ended the day 10th overall while Kyle Larson won. Stenhouse added 28 points to his season total, keeping him in the 13th position in the championship standings.
Stenhouse Helped Set a Historic Mark
The race at Auto Club Speedway helped Stenhouse remain in early contention for a playoff spot, but it also had a bigger impact on the season overall. The driver of the No. 47 helped set a historic mark with his top-10 finish.
There have been 19 drivers in the Cup Series that have secured top-10 finishes through the first two points-paying races. According to NASCAR on FOX, this hasn’t happened since the 1973 season, which indicates that the Gen 7 helps smaller teams become more competitive.
The Daytona 500 kicked off the streak with Austin Cindric (winner), Bubba Wallace, Chase Briscoe, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch, Michael McDowell, David Ragan, Brad Keselowski, and Chase Elliott finishing in the top 10.
The streak continued with Auto Club Speedway. Kyle Larson (winner), Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez, Joey Logano, Almirola, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Daniel Hemric, and Stenhouse finished in the top 10. Almirola is the only driver in the Cup Series to register top-10 finishes in both races of the season.