JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is about to embark on a new era. He will enter the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season as the sole driver on his team, and he will have a new person helping him fight for wins. He will work with Tad Boyd as his spotter.
Stenhouse made the comments during an appearance on “Garage Talk,” a popular YouTube show. He discussed the lineup change and how he has embraced the extra opportunities to test out the Next Gen car before taking on the 2022 schedule. He then revealed that he will work with Boyd, who previously spent time at Hendrick Motorsports.
“[I’ve] got a really good spotter. Tad Boyd’s coming over to spot for us, so I think that’s going to be huge,” Stenhouse said during the November 23 episode. “He’s got a lot of experience of race wins and championships and things like that, so I think it’s going to be a good asset to our program as well.”
Boyd has worked with some of the biggest names in NASCAR while helping his drivers contend for wins. He most recently served as the spotter for Byron from 2018 until 2021, resulting in 51 top-10 finishes, 21 top-fives, and two wins. Boyd also spent time as the spotter for Joey Logano, Danica Patrick, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter.
Stenhouse Has Embraced His Time as JTG Daugherty’s Sole Driver
Team co-owner Brad Daugherty revealed on August 31 that JTG Daugherty Racing would move forward as a one-car team in 2022. The chartered No. 47 will be the sole focus while the non-chartered No. 37 will stop competing.
This announcement created questions about Ryan Preece, who then confirmed that he would not return to JTG in 2022. He confirmed that he continued to seek new opportunities.
Stenhouse, on the other hand, told reporters on September 30 that he would return to the No. 47 Chevrolet for the third consecutive year. This announcement set up an offseason full of Next Gen tests.
“I think there are a lot of aspects that are going to help us improve this year,” Stenhouse said during the November 23 episode. “Like you said, we are a one-car operation now. Everything we do is solely focused on the [No. 47]. I mean, whenever you can put all of your resources into one car and — your sponsor dollars, like everything — it’s only an upside to that.
“I get to do every single test,” Stenhouse continued. “So that’s really — I feel like — benefiting. I’m able to run different race tracks. I’ll be doing — like I said — every single test. The full two days. Not every driver gets to do that.”
JTG Daugherty Racing Is Now Fully Part of the Chevrolet Family
Along with taking over as the only driver in the organization, Stenhouse also has expanded opportunities to prepare for the upcoming season. Chief among them is time in the Chevrolet simulator.
The No. 47 team has used Chevrolet stock cars during Stenhouse’s two seasons with the organization, but they haven’t fully been a part of the Chevy Racing family. That situation has now changed, providing Stenhouse with critical simulator time.
“We’re going to the simulator this year,” Stenhouse said. “We’re under the Chevy banner, having some Chevy manufacturer help, which I think that’s going to be huge for us. We haven’t been to the simulator until this year. Or, I mean until we started testing this new car. So I think that’s huge right now because we go test, go to the simulator, and then we’ll go to the simulator before we go to another test.”
Stenhouse added that this new time in the simulator has been huge for him as he takes part in the tests. He explained that he can provide feedback to the team while out on the track for a Next Gen test, but he will have to head back to the garage for adjustments before finding out if the feedback led to improvements.
With the simulator, the team just makes adjustments while Stenhouse is driving and test them out on the fly. He explained that these adjustments correlate to improvements on the track, which will only help the No. 47 better prepare for the 2022 season that only features 15-20-minute practice sessions.