Daytona 500 winner, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., joined The Bobby Bones Show today (March 6) to talk about how he celebrated the big win, learning his driving talent at 5-years-old, and shares advice to parents teaching kids how to drive.
On February 19, Stenhouse won the 65th Daytona 500 in double overtime. The two overtimes pushed the event to a record 212 laps, totaling 530 miles driven. To celebrate a big win like that, he stayed up all night celebrating and only got two hours of sleep before waking up to do media the next morning. From there, he went straight to Disney World with his family, then came home and got on a flight to go to Chicago. He said the week was fun filled with no sleep.
The Daytona 500 is NASCAR’s biggest race of the season, but that didn’t make Stenhouse nervous the night before. He knows getting a good night of sleep is key to performing well, so he keeps track of his sleeping pattern, especially the day before the race to make sure he got the best sleep possible. This marked his 14th season in NASCAR and the second time he’s won the big race. Before the race started, his team left him a note on his car saying how much they believed in him, which he said was a huge moment for him. His head coach has brought a lot of confidence to himself and his shop. Stenhouse said “It’s nice to have someone who believes in you more than they believe in themselves.”
Stenhouse discovered his driving talent at five-years-old, and began kart racing at six where he started winning competitions. When asked how you could tell if a five-year-old is a good racer or not, he said you can definitely tell them some are better than others when he watches kart races now. Stenhouse is used to being in the driver seat, so he can be a terrible backseat driver sometimes. He likes to be in control and will have lots of thoughts on the person driving while he’s in the back seat but has learned to stay quiet and try and enjoy the ride.
He called into the show from the airport and was on his way to the Houston Rodeo to watch his friend, Parker McCollum and Brooks & Dunn play. Before leaving, he shared advice with Amy whose 15-year-old daughter is learning to drive. He said as hard as it is, try not to talk too much when they are driving. Give them a few pointers but let them go and figure it out on their own.