Another NASCAR driver has set his schedule for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will return to JTG Daugherty Racing for another season and will drive the No. 47 Chevrolet for the third consecutive year as the team moves to only one car.
Stenhouse provided the update on Thursday, September 30, during an interview session with media members. He talked about heading to Talladega — a track where he has previously won — and how it will be different approaching the superspeedway knowing that it’s the last time in the current generation of stock cars. Stenhouse then confirmed that he has signed a one-year extension with JTG Daugherty.
“[I’m] definitely back in the JTG Daugherty Racing 47 Kroger car,” Stenhouse told Fox Sports reporter Bob Pockrass and other media members during the session. “So, definitely happy about that. Something that we’ve been sitting on for a while just trying to get everything else in place. Obviously, there are a lot of moving parts that go along with race teams and especially transitioning to a whole brand-new car and trying to make sure we have everything lined out there.”
Stenhouse Has to Finish Out the 2021 Season First
Prior to taking over as the main driver for JTG Daugherty Racing, Stenhouse will first have to finish out his 2021 schedule with teammate Ryan Preece by his side. The two drivers will take on Talladega Superspeedway on October 3 before heading to the Charlotte Roval on October 10.
The schedule will continue with Texas Motor Speedway (October 17), Kansas Speedway (October 24), and Martinsville Speedway (October 31). The season will come to a close with the championship race at Phoenix Raceway on November 7.
Stenhouse has not reached Victory Lane in the No. 47 during the 2021 season, but he has posted 21 total top-20 finishes, two more than in 2020. This list includes a runner-up in the Bristol dirt race on March 29 and a sixth-place run at Nashville Superspeedway on June 20.
“It’s been a busy few months for our team, and they are continuing to work hard,” Stenhouse added. We’re looking to finish this year off consistent as we have been. That’s one thing that we have been proud of this year is our consistency is better than what it was, and we are looking to build off of that the rest of the races.”
Stenhouse Will Bring Back a Classic Scheme for Talladega
When Stenhouse heads to Talladega Superspeedway, he will fight for his second career victory at the 2.66-mile track. He will also do so while bringing back a classic scheme that he has showcased both during his time with JTG Daugherty Racing and with Roush Fenway Racing.
The team behind the No. 47 revealed on Wednesday, September 29, that Stenhouse will drive the SunnyD car. The YellaWood 500 will mark the second time in 2021 that the stock car has featured the bright colors, with the first taking place at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 6.
Back on Oct. 14, 2019, Stenhouse showcased the SunnyD scheme at Talladega Superspeedway. He headed to the Alabama track in the No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford Mustang and competed in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 1000Bulbs.com 500. Stenhouse started seventh and finished ninth, his eighth top-10 finish at Talladega.
Fast-forward to 2021, and the SunnyD car will likely be on display throughout the race. Stenhouse has a history of production at Talladega, and he will likely continue this trend on October 3. Additionally, he will be part of the NBC broadcast due to wearing a WHOOP band.
The manufacturer behind the fitness tracker has provided live updates during multiple NASCAR races, showing the heart races of Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin, and Daniel Suarez among others. Stenhouse will be the latest to put his vitals on display while fighting for the win.
“It’s cool. I always wear a heart rate monitor in the race car, when I workout, during the week,” Stenhouse explained during the September 30 media session. “Now, to be able to see that broadcasted live on the TV will be really cool. I always look at my data, download it, process it after the race, send it to my trainer. He kind of builds my workout program off of how my heart rate is in the race car, and we try to mimic that when we’re in the gym.”