Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had all of his closest family and friends waiting for him in Victory Lane to celebrate his first career win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
That is, everyone except his father, Ricky Stenhouse Sr.
Stenhouse Sr. watched his son pass Kyle Busch for the lead and hold him off for the victory from his motorhome, which was located behind the Alabama Gang Superstretch of the 2.66-mile track.
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When Stenhouse Jr. crossed the finish line, Stenhouse Sr. wanted to get to his son so bad, he tried climbing the backstretch fence when he realized there was no way to get across the track.
That’s when all the trouble started, which was best described by Talladega Superspeedway public relations director, Russell Branham, who quickly chimed in and explained the entire situation during the winner’s press conference in the media center.
“He (Stenhouse Sr.) was extremely excited about his son winning today, and naturally so, Branham said. “His son wins the race, he goes down, he tries to find a way to get across the track. He tried to climb the fence, found out he couldn’t. He begins running down outside of the perimeter road of Turn 3 outside the venue. He wants to go through the tunnel and get in here. Our guys saw it, naturally they stopped him, asked him who he was, said would you get in the car.”
“They placed him in the car and talked to him,” he added. “They said, ‘Who are you?’ He said, ‘I’m Ricky Stenhouse’s father.’ (Security then said) Hold on one second, sir. Let me call the director of security. (They) called our security, and our security guy said, ‘Take him to Victory Lane, and that’s what happened.’”
This isn’t the first time Stenhouse Sr. has climbed the fence at a NASCAR track. After Stenhouse Jr.’s first ARCA Series win at Kentucky Speedway in 2008, the two climbed the backstretch fence to meet up and celebrate.
“My dad has done so much for me in my career,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “Making sure that you have the right people around you is one of the things that he’s all about — making sure that you have people that respect you, that will do anything for you, and man, he sacrificed a lot for me and my career.”
With his first career victory, Stenhouse Jr. is now eligible to automatically compete in this year’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20.
Stenhouse Jr. credits his father for helping him achieve his racing dreams.
“Everything that I know about racing I learned from him,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “I’m glad that he was able to be here in Victory Lane.”