Daytona 500: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and JTG Daugherty Racing Make History
Updated: Mar 13
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. savors the biggest win of his racing career with his JTG Daugherty Racing crew after becoming a Daytona 500 champion. (Photo: Mike Ehrmann | Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The 2023 Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 19 was nothing short of a historical event, with the 65th annual "Great American Race" setting numerous records, including running 12 more laps than the scheduled distance of 200 laps, which added up to a record-setting 530-mile race.
After a caution came out during the second overtime attempt, the field already had crossed the line to take the white flag. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the No. 47 Chevrolet for JTG Daugherty Racing, had a slight lead over 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Joey Logano when the caution flag flew. After a few moments, NASCAR declared Stenhouse Jr. the winner of the Daytona 500, after leading 10 of the 212 laps.
The win for Stenhouse Jr. was his first in 199 races. He last won at Daytona in July 2017. This ended the longest drought for active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series. The 199-race winless streak was also the fourth-longest span between Cup wins in NASCAR history.
The two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion (2011, 2012) and 2013 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year finally earned his crown jewel win after 365 races in Cup competition.
"This is unbelievable," Stenhouse Jr. said in an interview with Fox Sports' Jamie Little. "Man we got it done... Daytona 500."
Stenhouse Jr. also became the sixth driver in NASCAR Cup Series history to win the Daytona 500 from a starting spot outside the top-30, as he started 31st in the 2023 Daytona 500. He joins Trevor Bayne (2011), Matt Kenseth (2009), Kevin Harvick (2007), Bobby Allison (1978) and Benny Parsons (1975) as the only drivers to ever accomplish this feat, according to Joseph Srigley, who is the Managing Editor at TobyChristie.com.
More JTG History
Brad Daugherty made history during Black History Month and has some bragging rights over Michael Jordan now. (Photo: NASCAR Digital Media)
After snapping a 302-race winless streak, JTG Daugherty Racing added its name to the NASCAR history books in a variety of ways.
Former NBA player and team co-owner Brad Daugherty became the first Black car owner to win the Daytona 500. Co-owner Jodi Geschickter also became only the second female car owner to ever win the Great American Race, joining Teresa Earnhardt.
Mike Kelley, who was Stenhouse Jr.'s crew chief during his Xfinity Series championship-winning seasons reunited with him this season on top of the pit box. Kelley was the car chief for Michael Waltrip during the 2001 Daytona 500. Although Kelley earned his first Daytona 500 win with Dale Earnhardt Inc., he never got to "celebrate" the win due to the tragic passing of his boss, Dale Earnhardt Sr., on the last lap of the race.
Other Notable Facts
Travis Pastrana completed a successful NASCAR Cup Series debut in the Daytona 500 with a strong 11th-place finish in the No. 67 23XI Racing Toyota Camry sponsored by the Black Rifle Coffee Company. (Photo: James Gilbert | Getty Images)
During the 2023 Daytona 500, the race had 21 different leaders, including motorsport legend Travis Pastrana, who led two laps for 23XI Racing and became just the 465th driver to ever lead a lap in the NASCAR Cup Series. Pastrana was also the 2,981st driver to make a Cup start, according to both Trey Ryan and Seth Eggert from Kickin' the Tires. Pastrana finished 11th, ahead of 23XI Racing teammates Bubba Wallace (20th) and Tyler Reddick (39th), who like Pastrana, were involved in accidents.
Daytona 500 results can be found here:
Another driver who made his NASCAR Cup Series debut was Riley Herbst, who is a full-time driver for Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Herbst made his Cup debut piloting the No. 15 for Rick Ware Racing.
Herbst earned a 10th-place finish, which allowed him to make history by becoming just the second driver in the 65 years of the Daytona 500 to earn a top-10 result in their Cup debut. Herbst joined Terry Ryan, who finished sixth in his debut in the 1976 Daytona 500, according to Srigley.
The 2023 GRID Ranking will be the seventh year of the premier motorsport ranking in the world, and it will be released during the week of April 2.
Before the official ranking releases on the first Sunday of April, drivers in the seven racing series that participate in the ranking (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP) earn GRID Ratings, which help determine their initial seeding when the GRID Ranking releases.
For NASCAR, Stenhouse Jr.'s Daytona 500 win has earned him the top spot in NASCAR's GRID Rating. This marks the first time Stenhouse Jr. has led the rating for NASCAR.
Here is the rest of the NASCAR Top-10 GRID Rating:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - 25
Joey Logano - 18
Christopher Bell - 15
Chris Buescher - 12
Alex Bowman - 10
AJ Allmendinger - 8
Daniel Suárez - 6
Ryan Blaney - 4
Ross Chastain - 2
Riley Herbst - 1
Out of the 10 current drivers in NASCAR's GRID Rating, five of them were in the pre-season poll completed by the members of GRID Network. Those five were Bell, Blaney, Chastain, Logano and Suárez.
The next race for the NASCAR Cup Series is on Sunday, Feb. 26 (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX) at Auto Club Speedway.
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