With the Daytona 500 running Sunday on FOX13, one of the drivers getting the most attention is Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., of Olive Branch.
He's creating quite a rumble from winning two Nationwide series titles to dating Danica Patrick, the polesitter or Sunday's race.
Shorty Chambliss, his former crew chief and sponsor, will be glued to FOX13 when Stenhouse rolls across the starting line at Daytona.
Back in 2005 Shorty knew Ricky had something when he used to race a winged spring car because Rickey told him he was.
"He was 9-years-old and he said, 'Short man, I got this all figured out,'" Shorty recalled. "I said, What's that son? He said, 'Just about the time you get ready to step out of this No. 40 car, I am going to step into it, and be a bad dude.' And that has come to pass."
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"When he was 14-years-old I put him in my race car and his daddy said, 'Are you crazy?,'" Shorty added. "I said, 'I am a little bit crazy,' but I said this kid will be a big time racer. There is no doubt in my mind."
Shorty had all the faith in Stenhouse winning the 2012 Nationwide series after he won it the first time in 2011.
"I don't worry about him (on Sunday). "Everybody doubted me that he would win the Nationwide this past year, and I said there is no doubt in my mind. This is his first year in the Cup races. He's up there with the big boys, now. He's not with a Shetland pony, he's with a race horse now, you understand what I'm saying? You know all the tricks and hey, I'll say this, the kid learns pretty fast."
As for Stenhouse's relationship with Patrick, that much to do has been made about, Shorty had this to say about her driving.
"You know I don't care what nobody says. That lady is sitting on the pole at Daytona. That's the only lady that has been on the pole at Daytona. That car didn't drive around the track by itself, you know? She had her hands on the wheel, and she did a heck of a job."
This Sunday, when the green flag drops at Daytona, you won't find Shorty at Daytona. He's already got his seat chosen, and he'll be watching the kid who used to drive the old sprint car that still sits in his shop.
"I won't miss a bit of it. I have the best seat in the house, in my recliner. Don't have to fight no traffic, no nothing. I'll be pulling for the kid that drives the 17 car my protege', yes sir, yeah."
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