|Stenhouse wants a second NNS title.|
“It’s gonna be tough, we know that for sure,” said Stenhouse. “This whole year has been tough. It’s been really tight. We win races. They win races. We’re right behind them. He’s right behind us, so it’s a lot of fun.
It seems like the fans have really enjoyed the battle that we have going on and I feel confident about our equipment, our race team and the race tracks we have left. But if I look over at (Sadler’s) stats at the race tracks we have left, they’re just as good as ours. I don’t think either one of us has a clear advantage over the other. I think it’s just going to be hard racing to the end, and try not to make mistakes.”
Surprisingly, Stenhouse said he has actually learned from Sadler while battling for both the 2011 and 2012 championships.
“I learned a lot from Elliott with his success and time in this sport,” he said. “I was able to learn how to race for a championship – a lot of give-and-take from him – and I think that paid off a lot, last year and this year. We get along great. We race each other hard when it’s time to go race, and during the race we give and take a lot. It’s been a lot of fun racing Elliott. He’s a guy that I would hang out with off the race track.”
While admitting that he and Sadler have had an on-track issue or two this seaspn, he said their relationship remains respectful and cordial.
“(We’re) in the garage 34 weeks a year running for a championship,” he explained. “We’re parked next to each other in the garage. Our teams talk to each other. We fly on the same planes to the race tracks. We have a mutual respect for each team. Our teams talk to each other. Our crew chiefs talk to each other. Everybody talks and gets along.
“You don’t want to be out there hating the guys next to you and not enjoy your year. We do this because we love to do it. If it gets to where it’s a tough time hanging out in the garage because you’re worried about the guys next to you, I think you’re taking a lot of the enjoyment out of it.”