Ricky Stenhouse Jr. accepted the 2013 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year award Thursday and, of course, he had to acknowledge the driver who was his primary competition.
“Battles are tough, especially when you are going against your girlfriend,” Stenhouse said.
Stenhouse, a two-time Nationwide Series champion, finished 19th in the Cup standings in his rookie year for Roush Fenway Racing.
Patrick, who was 10th in the Nationwide standings last year in her first full NASCAR season, finished 27th in the Cup standings as a rookie at Stewart-Haas Racing.
“We’ve had a few run-ins, which resulted in one really quiet ride home,” Stenhouse said. “And I learned real quick that if there’s a question it could be my fault, it’s better to go ahead and just apologize and get it over with.