Ricky Stenhouse Jr. survived a wild last few laps to win his first career Daytona 500 on Sunday evening. A caution came out on the final lap and it was determined that Stenhouse Jr. led the field at the time of the caution ahead of defending Cup Series Champion Joey Logano. The win was the third of Stenhouse Jr.’s career, the second that has come at Daytona International Speedway.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
It was a relatively calm first stage of action at Daytona. Alex Bowman started on the pole but Kyle Larson led the first lap of the race. Plenty of lead changes took place but there were no cautions during the stage. Bubba Wallace did make contact with the wall on lap 52 but he was able to save the car from spinning out and the race would stay green. In the end of stage one, Brad Keselowski surged to the lead and picked up the first stage win of the 2023 season.
Stage two had a little more action, as the first caution due to a wreck would take place on lap 118. Kevin Harvick got into the back of Tyler Reddick and Reddick spun, collecting several other cars including Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney. The stage would end with Ross Chastain inching out the stage win over Alex Bowman.
In the third and final stage, the drivers began to have more urgency. On lap 182, while various packs of cars were coming together following green flag stops, another wreck took place which collected a handful of drivers including Ryan Preece and Michael McDowell.
With just 3 laps to go, Daniel Suarez spun and sent the race into a green-white checkered flag overtime. The first attempt at overtime was spoiled by a big accident behind the leaders. In the second overtime attempt, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. held the lead heading into the final lap. A wreck took place behind the leaders, causing a caution. This meant that the driver who was in the lead at the time of the caution would be declared the winner. That driver was Stenhouse Jr., who took his #47 car to victory lane.
BIG NUMBER: 3
The win marked just the third of Stenhouse Jr.’s career, and the first since 2017. He has now won twice at Daytona, although this was his first win in the Daytona 500.
UP NEXT: The NASCAR Cup Series will travel to Fontana, California where the Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway will be held on Sunday, February 25th at 2:30 PM.