On October 6, JTG Daugherty Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. revealed that he had filmed some content with HGTV star Ben Napier. On January 9, NASCAR fans had the opportunity to see the final product, which featured Stenhouse’s woodworking skills.
The driver of the No. 47 appeared on an episode of “Home Town: Ben’s Workshop,” a show exclusive to the Discovery+ app. He joined a fellow Mississippi native in Napier as they built a present for the Laurel City Fire Department. They teamed up and built a pair of custom benches for the first responders so that they could have someplace to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
While Stenhouse spent a considerable amount of time using a table saw and showcasing his abilities in the shop, he also provided a glimpse into his entire NASCAR career. He spoke about growing up in sprint cars and then moving up to the Nationwide Series — now the Xfinity Series — and the Cup Series. He also discussed his respect for first responders, particularly those that fight fires.
The episode of “Home Town: Ben’s Workshop” featuring Stenhouse is available on the Discovery+ app, which requires a subscription. The price is $4.99 per month with ads or $6.99 per month for the ad-free experience. The app is available on several platforms, such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S, the Google Play Store, and the Apple app marketplace.
Stenhouse Showed His Support for Napier Years Ago
Napier revealed early in the episode that he had a unique connection to Stenhouse. The NASCAR driver showed his support for the future HGTV star back when Laurel Mercantile Co. ran under a different name — Erin and Ben Co.
As Napier explained, someone caught his attention by placing an order worth $250 within 24 hours of the shop’s launch. Once he went to find out more about the purchase, he revealed that Stenhouse was the one shelling out the money.
“Ricky always supports people from Mississippi because they’ve always supported him,” Napier explained. “Especially his family, but also his community. He really wants to give back.”
The two men have been friends for a considerable amount of time, to the point that Napier has sat atop the pit box as a special guest during one of Stenhouse’s biggest races. He made a 2017 trip to Talladega Superspeedway for the Geico 500, the same race that Stenhouse won after first securing the pole position. Napier was on hand to cheer for the NASCAR driver, and he helped him celebrate in Victory Lane.
Stenhouse Openly Discussed Past Struggles in NASCAR
While Stenhouse has won races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, he has also dealt with his fair share of struggles. He specifically took time during the appearance on “Home Town: Ben’s Workshop” to discuss his first season with Roush Fenway Racing in the Nationwide Series.
“2010 was my full rookie year in the Nationwide Series,” Stenhouse said during the January 9 episode. “That started off rocky for sure. Some tracks I had never been to before and was still fairly new to pavement, stock car racing. I was pushing too hard a lot of times. Part of that was I didn’t know what the cars could handle because I was still fairly new to it.”
Stenhouse wrecked four times in the first 10 races, leading to a discussion with the owner of Roush Fenway Racing. “Jack Roush came to me and he said, ‘hey, you’re going to go into the chassis shop.’ And I worked in the chassis shop for three months,” Stenhouse said.
The NASCAR driver explained that the purpose of Roush’s decision was so he could see the amount of effort that goes into building cars and potentially avoid some future wrecks. Though Stenhouse added that he had concerns at the time about potentially losing his job with the team.
Roush Fenway Racing did not cut ties with Stenhouse after the wrecks. Instead, the team moved forward with him as a key part of the team. He rewarded them with back-to-back Nationwide Series championships in 2011 and 2012, as well as two wins during the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Stenhouse remained with Roush Fenway Racing until the end of the 2019 season. Now he drives for JTG Daugherty Racing. 2022 will mark his third season with the organization, but it will be his first as the only driver after JTG Daugherty Racing moved from two cars down to one.
READ NEXT: NAPA Reveals Chase Elliott’s Next Gen Scheme