Two-time NASCAR Nationwide champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. provided fast rides with media members at Homestead-Miami Speedway just days before the finale where James Buescher, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Brad Keselowski were crowned 2012 champions in NCWTS, NNS and NSCS.
“Here at my favorite racetrack,” Stenhouse said. “It’s just like a drive down the Interstate.”
HMS is a smooth track, and the Ford Fusion pace car provided a smooth comfortable ride, but at 100 mph some G’s were obvious going in and out of corners with 20 degree variable banking.
This reporter is fortunate to have previously taken fast rides requiring a fire suit, helmet and a Hans neck device in two-seater stock cars and open wheel race cars on rougher racetracks at higher speeds. But even those demonstration laps are nothing like the competitive world of an actual race at top speeds.
Stenhouse described that world:
It’s totally different. We’re into a corner in our Nationwide cars probably at 190 mph. You’re really going into the corner hard. It’s a little easier when you are by yourself. But when you have all the other guys around you, it gets a little difficult. It takes the air off the car. You get loose. You get tight. Just things you got to be ready for. It’s not just a drive down the Interstate at that point.
Stenhouse also explained why he was so fond of Homestead-Miami Speedway:
I feel like it’s the perfect racetrack. If you could build any racetrack, this is the racetrack you want to build. It definitely wears the tires out now. It slides around a lot. Which is a lot of fun. You can run bottom, middle, top. You can run in on the bottom, come off on the top, or you can run in on the top and come up off the bottom. There are just so many things you can do with your race car here that make it fun. I think if you ask any driver, they would say make every racetrack like this.
Check out this video link of the Ford Racing pace car ride
Thanks to the great representatives at Ford Racing, fans can get the feel of the HMS track with the video accompanying this report. Ricky Stenhouse commands the wheel as this reporter conducts an interview at 100 mph.
FYI WIRZ is the select presentation of topics by Dwight Drum at Racetake.com. Unless otherwise noted, information and all quotes were obtained from personal interviews or official release materials provided by sanction and team representatives.