Ricky Stenhouse Jr expresses confidence over future of what is now JTG Daugherty Racing

It's becoming increasingly clearer that it will be something else next season

NASCAR: NASCAR Cup Series Championship
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. didn’t shy away from the potential of changes coming to JTG Daugherty Racing next season and beyond but expressed positivity about his No. 47 car having funding and the ability to compete after signing an extension this week.

Tad Geschickter co-owns the No. 47 car alongside wife Jodi, NBA legend Brad Daugherty and businessman Gordon Smith. The Geschickters also operate an agency, Brand Activation Maximizer, which started to do work for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2022.

The partnership turned heads because it was the co-owner of a Chevrolet team doing contract and sponsorship work for the flagship Toyota organization. Then came the rumors that Kroger could be on the move from JTG Daugherty Racing to another team next season.

When Stenhouse and the team announced a contract extension this week, the ownership quotes in the press release came from Smith and Daugherty but neither Geschickter were featured.

“I can’t comment exactly on what’s going on with sponsorship stuff but the race team is working really hard on that,” Stenhouse said during scheduled media availabilities on Saturday at Kansas Speedway. “The focus for our team is running well, continuing to run well for all of our Kroger racing brands. We have a lot of partners who have supported this program for a long time and we’re looking forward to running well with them this weekend. 

“We have the Minute Rice colors on our car this week, and those colors changed each week, and looking forward to giving them good runs the rest of this year.

“Who knows exactly what will be on our cars next year but we have a great group of people working on that for us at the race team. At the shop, all the crew guys are pumped up and committed to what we’re doing.”

Despite all the obvious change taking place in the background, Stenhouse says it feels like business as usual at the No. 47 shop.

“There is nothing that is going to change what we’re doing week in and week out in the shop, on the race track,” he said. “We’re still going out doing the same stuff, appearances that I do, so everything is according to plan and business as usual.”

This is the fifth season that Stenhouse has raced for JTG Daugherty Racing with his best season coming last year starting with a Daytona 500 victory but also a 17.8 average finish across the entire season. The start to 2024 has not gone as well with a 23.6 average finish and they are 27th in the standings.

“We had a solid year last year,” Stenhouse said. “This year, obviously, we’re not where we want to be but we’ve started to run pretty well over the past month. Now, signing the extension, its about building on the foundation we laid with this car the past three years.

“I really like where we’re at. We have a solid plan moving forward and I feel good about where we are as a race team. It feels good to have the contract done and we can focus on getting better.”  

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter. 

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