It turns out Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was a willing, if somewhat late and reluctant, participant in girlfriend Danica Patrick’s April Fool’s Day joke that had social media and the NASCAR world buzzing last week.
Patrick posted a picture on her Instagram account of her and Stenhouse kissing, with what appeared to be an engagement ring on her left hand. The caption simply read, “Well … ”
And that was all it took to get everyone talking.
The two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers have been dating for five years.
Asked about the April Fool’s prank Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway, Stenhouse laughed and admitted he got in on it “late.”
“I was out in the woods working after Martinsville practice (last Saturday), and she said, ‘Hey, it’s April Fool’s,” Stenhouse said. “I want to send something out and I have this idea. Are you in?’ So I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ ”
Then he forgot about it. But not for long.
“Then I was on the phone talking to somebody for like 30 or 40 minutes, and my phone kept going off,” Stenhouse said. I wasn’t real sure why it kept going off – and then I remembered that she sent that out. Then I realized real quick what it was all about. It was funny.”
When Stenhouse was asked Saturday if he’s starting to feel pressure to turn the joke into reality, he chuckled again.
“I wouldn’t say there’s a ton of pressure,” Stenhouse said. “But I get it from fans a lot.”
Take a look at the Instagram post that stirred the pot below.