Hate to say I told you so, but back in May when Rick Stenhouse, Jr. went to victory lane at Talladega for his first Monster Energy Cup Series win, I wrote he would not be a "one hit wonder". More specifically on May 3rd I said, "Stenhouse will have more make out sessions in victory lane with Danica Patrick and it surely won't take him another 158 starts before he's waving around a checkered flag again."

Turns out it took Stenhouse only six races before he was back doing a smoke show, doing donuts and bowing to the crowd after grabbing the win in last Saturday night's Coke Zero 400.

"Yeah, it's nice to do that in a short amount of time.  You know, not waiting another year and getting it in the same year is really important for us," said the 29-year-old from Olive Branch, MS. " I think it's something that after you win the first one, it was awesome for a week, but then somebody else wins the next week, so it makes you want to continue to win and get back up here in the media center, get back in victory lane, and get everybody talking about your team."

The only bad thing about Daytona was that Jack Roush wasn't there to celebrate his team's 137th win on NASCAR's top series. Instead, he had taken his granddaughter out to see Mt. Rushmore.  His absence, however, shows just how far their operation has come since going winless 2014 through 2016 according to Roush Fenway Racing President Steve Newmark. "What Jack has done over the last year is really empower a group of individuals to try and run the company on a day-to-day basis. I know this is probably Jack's proudest moment because this was a race that he wasn't at, and we were still able implement everything that he's taught us and go out there and get him in victory lane."

Now we have to ask if RFR get a win for their other driver Trevor Bayne, qualifying him for the season-ending playoff, and will Stenhouse be a competitive championship contender? Those are tough questions to answer, but clearly Roush's gang has turned the corner.  "I wish I could give you that one thing that said, hey, this was the magic bullet that did it.  If you had that one thing, it makes for a better story, a better headline," explained Newmark. "It really has been an accumulation of all the little things, so it doesn't sound sexy, it's probably a little boring how we did it, but we just had to systematically step back and say, we are going to make sure we have the right people here, people who are dedicated and focused on bringing Roush Fenway back to where we believe it should be and really who kind of buy into the philosophy that Jack has embedded in the organization."

While their stats are not stunningly better, in 2017 Roush Fenway is noticeably in better shape and has stopped their slide towards mediocrity.  Can they match Team Penske or Stewart-Haas Racing in putting Fords out front each and every weekend? No, they can't.  The gap, though, has closed and while they may not have built a ladder tall enough to climb totally out of the hole they dug by the end of this season, at age 75 the "Cat in the Hat" is trending upwards.

This is the way it should be as Roush enters the twilight of a career that will land him in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. His is one of the coolest stories inside the garage and he didn't deserve to go out with his cars struggling to run top-20.

Now, he won't have to and it's a feel good story that feels really good.