NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is looking for an early Christmas present today in Illinois.

Stenhouse will be returning to his roots to race in the annual Battle At The Center being held on a 1/6 mile dirt track indoors at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. Stenhouse is a native of Mississippi and raced sprint cars on dirt prior to Tony Stewart hiring him to drive for his USAC team in 2007. Stenhouse had five national midget victories and a couple national sprint car wins that season which led to opportunities in stock cars in 2008

This is the second time that Stenhouse Jr. is running the Battle At The Center event. He finished second in his first try in 2010 so is obviously trying to improve on that by taking the win today.

Stenhouse was NASCAR’s Nationwide champion in 2011 and 2012 with Roush Fenway Racing, which then promoted him to NASCAR's top level the following year when he won NASCAR’s Rookie of the Year award.

The Battle At The Center is considered a tune-up for next month's Chili Bowl midget car race in Oklahoma.