Strengths – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is an elite restrictor plate driver and in 2018 he’ll likely compete for more wins at those venues. In 2017 he won twice on that track type, once at Daytona and once at Talladega. Stenhouse Jr. also has some fantasy playability at intermediate tracks, shorter flat tracks and Bristol.
Weaknesses – No good will come from picking Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at road courses. Also despite finishing 10th at Martinsville in both 2017 races I would recommend avoiding him at “The Paper Clip.”
Track Type Fantasy Value Key = Elite > High > Medium-High > Medium > Low
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – High
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is a solid intermediate track driver. On this track type I would describe his fantasy value as “High”, but it’s a Low-High. In 2018 at these venues I would look for him to likely be a low double digit to mid-teens driver on a weekly basis in incident free races.
Last year on this track type Stenhouse Jr. scored the 20th most points and finished in the top fifteen 53% percent of the time. It should be noted however that he only finished in the top ten once. In 2016 on this track type Stenhouse Jr. scored the 17th most points.
Flat Track Fantasy Value – High
At flat tracks Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is better at the smaller venues and should be considered a dark horse driver at those venues in 2018. Last year at the smaller flats Stenhouse Jr. scored the 3th most points, had 2 top fives, 3 top tens and only once finished outside the top fifteen.
Last year at the bigger flat tracks he didn’t have a bad season. He finished 11th and 16th at Pocono, but crashed at Indy like everyone else. At Pocono over the last four races Stenhouse Jr. has a 15th place average finish. In 2017 at Indy Stenhouse Jr. wrecked and finished 35th, in 2016 he finished 12th. All of his other results there are pretty bad.
Short Track Fantasy Value – High
Don’t overlook Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at short tracks. On this track type he really showed improvement last year. For the season he scored the 14th most points, had 4 top tens and only once finished lower than 14th.
Bristol ranks as one of his best tracks. His average finish there is 10.8 and in 5 of the last 8 races he’s had a result in the top ten. Last year at Martinsville no driver was more surprising than him. That’s arguably his worst track and I call him a “Caution waiting to happen”, but last year he finished 10th twice! At Richmond last year he finished 4th in the spring and 19th in the fall. In 3 of the last 5 races there he’s finished in the high-teens.
Restrictor Plate Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is a very strong performer at restrictor plate tracks. Last year he raced his way to victory lane at both plate tracks. Him winning at these venues wasn’t really that surprising because he’s been a strong performer year after year on this track type. Last year at plate tracks Stenhouse Jr. scored the 7th most points, in 2016 he scored the 6th most points.
Between the two plate tracks I like Stenhouse Jr. more at Talladega. From an allocation perspective I’ll note I view it as his best track. He won there last spring and has finished in the top ten in 3 of the last 5 races. His overall Talladega average finish is 12.1. At Daytona his track record isn’t as good, but in 2 of the last 3 races there he’s finished in the top five including a win in last summers race.
Road Course Track Fantasy Value – Low
Nothing good is going to come from picking Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at road courses. Last year he had a 29.0 average finish and scored the 29th most points. Him being that bad on this track is a real trend. In 2016 on this track type he scored the 35th most points, in the three seasons prior to that he scored the 25th, 26th and 24th most points. Things are going to be even worse for Stenhouse Jr. on this track type in 2018 with a third road course added to the schedule.