Ricky Stenhouse Jr. claimed a momentous win at the 2023 NASCAR Daytona 500, with the JTG Daugherty Racing profiting off a late race pile-up.
The 65th running of the Daytona 500 witnessed two overtime periods, which ultimately catapulted Stenhouse Jr. to the front of the field. The Tennessee native, who earlier in the race was awarded a penalty for speeding in the pit lane, battled with last year’s Cup Series Champion, Joey Logano, pipping the Penske driver just as a 13-car pile-up ensued.
The win marked Stenhouse Jr.’s first win in the NASCAR Cup Series for over five years, with the JTG Daugherty Racing driver going 199 races between wins.
Stenhouse Jr. praises team’s offseason efforts
To say Stenhouse Jr. has had a few difficult years would be an understatement. The Chevrolet driver has come close to breaking his streak on more than a few occasions but ultimately fell short.
Heading into 2023, Stenhouse Jr. and his team worked on employing a more positive mental approach to their relationship, especially with his crew chief Mike Kelly, something that the JTG Daugherty Racing driver said was crucial in helping him achieve his win at NASCAR’s most prestigious race.
“Yeah, I think this whole offseason Mike (Kelley) just preached how much we all believed in each other,” Stenhouse said following his win.
“They left me a note in the car that said they believe in me and to go get the job done tonight. I made a few mistakes. We were able to battle back.
“This Kroger Continental team worked really, really hard in offseason, great pit stops, Hendrick engines. Glad a Chevy won.
“Man, this is unbelievable. This was the site of my last win back in 2017. We’ve worked really hard. We had a couple shots last year to get a win and fell short. It was a tough season, but, man, we got it done. Daytona 500!”
Late Race Pile Up
At 212 laps, this year’s edition of the Daytona 500 eclipsed the previous record for the longest race distance set in 2020. The race ran without any incidents for 118 laps but ended with a spectacular crash that will undoubtedly claim all the headlines.
The incident started during the second overtime period, when Aric Almirola made contact with Travis Pastrana going into Turn 2. Pastrana then touched the Chevrolet of Kyle Larson with the ripple effect also collecting the likes of Austin Cindric, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, AJ Allmendinger, Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace and Ryan Blaney.
Busch continues painful wait
Adding insult to injury was the fact that Busch now continues his wait to claim his first Daytona 500 win. The Richard Childress Racing driver, was the race leader on Lap 200, and were it not for a tweak to the rules, which dictated that he would have to be in the lead for additional two laps during the overtime period, would have claimed the win on what was his 18th attempt.
“I was hoping to have a teammate restart where I could get down to the bottom, and then when I got down on the bottom we could get locked up and the 24 and the 8 and the 3 would all work together and push and go,” Busch said after the race.
“It looked like it was kind of working, but we got too much separation off of (Turn) 2 and I tried to back up to get to them. When they hit me it got me really squirrely, and then Austin checked up and the accordion happens and everybody’s running over everybody.
“I think this the first time I led Lap 200. I wish it was 1998 rules.”
Stenhouse’s win brings an end to the longest active winless streak on the Cup Series starting grid, with Michael McDowell’s tally of 71 races now the longest.
Following the events of its flagship race, the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series will now head to the Auto Club Speedway in California for the Pala Casino 400.
Daytona 500 Top 10 Results
|1||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||JTG Daugherty Racing||3:38’52.921|
|3||Christopher Bell||Joe Gibbs Racing||+0.670|
|4||Chris Buescher||RFK Racing||+2.738|
|5||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||+5.471|
|6||A.J. Allmendinger||Kaulig Racing||+6.034|
|7||Daniel Suarez||Trackhouse Racing||+6.395|
|9||Ross Chastain||Trackhouse Racing||+8.302|
|10||Riley Herbst||Stewart-Haas Racing||+10.020|