• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wins thrilling Daytona 500

ByBrenden Martin

Feb 19, 2023
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. celebrates

Photo courtesy of Mike Ehrmann | Getty Images

JTG Daugherty Racing No. 47 driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was declared the winner of the longest Daytona 500 based on laps. A calm start to the race turned into a double overtime shootout by night.

“Man, this is unbelievable,” Stenhouse Jr. said to FOX Sports’ Jamie Little. “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.”

The win marks Stenhouse Jr.’s third career Cup Series win, all of which have come at superspeedways. He won the 2017 Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and the 2017 Coke Zero 400 also at Daytona International Speedway.

The win is also significant to team owner and NBA legend Brad Daugherty, who becomes the first black team owner to win the Daytona 500.

Stenhouse Jr. took the lead after the first overtime caution by getting around Team Penske No. 22 driver Joey Logano, who finished second. Stenhouse Jr. overcame a speeding penalty during the final green flag pit cycle with 21 laps to go in regulation.

“Second is the worst, man,” Logano said to FOX Sports’ Regan Smith. “You’re so close. Leading to the white flag there, I was up front.”

Logano won the Daytona 500 in 2015 and has come up close many other times. He was leading in 2021 going into the final turn before being taken out.

It is hard to believe that the 65th installment of the Daytona 500 ended up being the longest of them all based on miles run given how the race started. The race was more than halfway done before the first caution came out.

Stage 1 was fairly uneventful with few notable events. Spire Motorsports No. 77 driver Ty Dillon suffered an engine failure on Lap 28. 23XI Racing No. 23 driver Bubba Wallace, seen as a superspeedway favorite, was pushed into the wall by JGR No. 19 driver Martin Truex Jr.

Wallace was sent off the lead lap for much of the race but mounted a huge comeback late in regulation to salvage a 20th-place finish.

Rick Ware Racing No. 15 driver Riley Herbst spun entering pit road, giving him a pit commitment penalty. He bided his time and was patient as the rest of the field wrecked at the end of the race, awarding him a 10th-place finish in his Cup Series debut.

Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota as a whole had an up-and-down race. No. 20 driver Christopher Bell made it through the chaos and finished third. Bell had a completely different outlook at his finish than the defending series champion did.

“If you would have told me pre-race I was going to run third I would have jumped up and down and been smiling ear-to-ear,” Bell said to FOX Sports’ Josh Sims.

Ford seized the opportunity with Toyotas being broken up. The blue oval led the pack to the end of Stage 1 where Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing No. 6 driver Brad Keselowski won his first stage in the Daytona 500 and his first with RFK Racing.

Comeback opportunities were also apparent for Richard Childress Racing No. 8 driver Kyle Busch. The newly-added RCR driver was caught speeding on pit road during green flag stops in Stage 2. Busch rallied back to take the lead with four laps to go in regulation thanks to the help of his teammate, No. 3 driver Austin Dillon. Busch finished 19th after the double overtime wreck.

The first big wreck came on lap 118 when 23XI Racing No. 45 Tyler Reddick lost control and hit the wall hard, taking out Hendrick Motorsports No. 9 driver Chase Elliott and LEGACY Motor Club No. 43 driver Erik Jones out with him for the rest of the race.

The green flag came back with six laps to go in Stage 2 where Trackhouse Racing No. 1 driver Ross Chastain and HMS No. 48 driver Alex Bowman were door-to-door to the line where Chastain secured the stage win in a photo finish.

As always, strategy came into play a lot more for the final stage. The RFK duo of Keselowski and No. 17 driver Chris Buescher led for much of the stage with the RCR tandem of Busch and Dillon behind them.

The green flag pit cycle that ultimately caught the winner speeding jumbled the field that had been running two-wide for most of the race. The Fords were affected the most, as they brought out another caution for a pileup that took out Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 driver Ryan Preece in his SHR debut after a solid run.

Busch looked to be clear for his first career Daytona 500 win, but Trackhouse Racing No. 99 driver Daniel Suárez brought the first overtime out with a spin on the front stretch.


“Back in 1998 that would be the win, boys,” Busch said over his team radio.

The largest wreck occurred during the first overtime. The bottom lane got stacked up, leading to Dillon getting turned near the front of the pack and taking out almost everyone behind him. LEGACY Motor Club driver and part-owner No. 84 Jimmie Johnson was taken out of the race after marching his way into the top 10. He finished 31st in his return to NASCAR after two years.

Fuel became an issue going into the second overtime. Both RFK cars had to pit for more fuel under caution. Stenhouse Jr. may have not made it back to the checkered flag had the race-ending caution not come out. He ran out of gas before he could do burnouts and needed to be pushed to Victory Lane.

Stenhouse Jr. will compete in the NASCAR Playoffs thanks to the win after finishing 26th in points last season when he had just one top-five finish and five top-10s. Four of those top 10s were in a row at Dover Motor Speedway (2nd), Darlington Raceway (8th), Kansas Speedway (8th) and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (7th).

He also finished 10th at Auto Club Speedway, where NASCAR will be heading next.

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season will continue with its second race next week. The Palo Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California will be the last race on the 2-mile version of the track before it is taken off the NASCAR schedule for the next two years to be reconfigured into a half-mile track.

The race will begin at 3:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 26 with coverage on FOX, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

NOTE: Technical inspection is complete. No issues. No. 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is the winner. Cars of No. 17 Chris Buescher and No. 48 Alex Bowman will be sent to R&D for teardown.


2023 Daytona 500 Race Results


2023 Driver Points after Daytona 500.


2023 Owner Points after Daytona 500.