Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has joined JTG Daugherty Racing in a multi-year deal, replacing Chris Buescher, the team announced Wednesday.
Stenhouse essentially swaps seats with Buescher, who was announced by Roush Fenway Racing on Sept. 25 as taking over its No. 17 Ford next season.
Stenhouse will have Ryan Preece as a teammate.
Sponsorship for Stenhouse and his car number will be announced at a later date.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join JTG Daugherty Racing next season,” Stenhouse said in a press release. “To be able to see what (team owner) Tad (Geschickter), Jodi (Geschickter) and Brad (Daugherty) have built over the years says a lot about the team and the organization both on and off the track. JTG has grown from a small team in a barn to a two-car team with more than 100 employees, and I’m looking forward to joining the family. I’m grateful for the opportunity, and ready to go win races with the ultimate goal of making the Playoffs and competing for a championship.”
Stenhouse joins JTG Daugherty Racing after a decade of racing with Roush Fenway. He earned two Xfinity Series titles for the team before moving up to the Cup Series full-time in 2013.
In 251 Cup starts, Stenhouse has two wins. Those came at Daytona and Talladega. He failed to make the playoffs the last two seasons.
Tad Geschickter shared some insight into why he went with Stenhouse on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “SiriusXM Speedway” Wednesday afternoon.
“We looked at the whole field of people that were available and accomplished enough to run at the Cup level,” Geschickter said. “Really narrowed it down to two. At the end it’s Ricky’s resume and experience and to see it alongside Ryan, whose still learning his craft at the Cup level, we just thought it made sense to have that veteran experience that’s won races be part of the program as Ryan continues to develop into that winning presence.”
On Monday, Stenhouse led 32 laps in the race at Talladega, his most laps led this season.
“(The deal was) definitely pretty much done at that point, but it sure made me feel good about the decision if there were any worries,” Geschickter said. “Ricky’s just fast everywhere. He’s a tremendous talent. I think we’re blessed to get him. We’re going to miss Chris. I don’t think we’ll miss a step here.”
Geschickter was asked by SiriusXM if Stenhouse’s reputation for being involved in wrecks as a result of aggressive racing was discussed during the negotiation process.
“I did not know him well until I met him a couple of weeks ago and talked a lot obviously over the last couple of weeks,” Geschickter said. “He’s breath of fresh air. You can talk pretty frankly with him, he talks frankly back to you. We certainly had that discussion. But as we discussed it, I’d rather go to the bit than go to the whip. He wants it badly. We’re kind of excited to have that dynamic in here. Ryan’s the same way, by the way. he want’s it badly.”