Ricky Stenhouse Jr is the new winner in town after he clinched his first Daytona 500 title in the recently concluded “The Great American Race”. Stenhouse did not only enter the NASCAR record of winners but also posted the record of the only driver to ever win the longest Daytona 500 in history. The previous record was 207 laps in 2018 and 2019 and this one went for 212 laps due to double overtimes.
The No.47 Cottonelle Chevrolet Camaro for JTG Daugherty Racing edged the No.22 Ford Mustang for Team Penske to win the double overtime race by the slightest margin. Stenhouse was among the struggling drivers and before coming into the picture he had been slapped with a speeding penalty. Following Daniel Suarez’s wreck Stenhouse Jr. found his way to the front positions after NASCAR handed two overtime laps in the first round.
After coming closer to top positions, the Memphis-born driver began dominating the race in the last minute taking the lead in the second-final caution following Dillon’s spin that tagged numerous cars including the Kyle Busch and master wrecker Brad Keselowski.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr Wins the 2023 Daytona 500 Trophy
— Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (@StenhouseJr) February 20, 2023
Ricky Stenhouse has remained off the winning grid for almost five years now winning his last Cup Series on July 1st, 2017 at Daytona. The July win was one of the two wins he earned that season including the Talladega win on May 7th.
Since then Stenhouse has never touched the checkered flag and prior to his current win, he was suffering from a long win dry spell. Aside from ending a 199-winless start, Stenhouse has also marked his first win with the JTG Daugherty Racing since he joined from RFK Racing. On top of that, the win is the second JTG’s Daytona 500 win making Daugherty the first car owner to win a Daytona 500 trophy.
Winning the most coveted trophy as a comeback is one of the best styles to start the season and this is exactly what Ricky Stenhouse Jr has done. Speaking in a postrace interview, Stenhouse has cited that this is just the beginning and his fans should expect more wins coming to his win.
“We’re done, mike [Mike Kelly ]and I have a lot of things for us left to do. They’re still a lot left to prove that we can go be competitive on all racetracks.
Stenhouse and Mike Kelly have perfect working chemistry, before the reunion in the off-season. The two had pulled two Xfinity Championships, 8 wins, 63 Top tens, and 8 poles. Before even hitting the track, his team believed in him and they even went on to write a note for him “WE BELIEVE! TODAY”.True to their word, Stenhouse Jr. didn’t disappoint as he delivered the win straight to their doorsteps.
Speaking to the media his crew chief Mike Kelly said the note was a simple motivational note to try to get people to believe in Stenhouse again.
We’re trying to get people to believe in Ricky Stenhouse again. We’re trying to get people to believe in myself and the vision that we have. So that’s all it was: A simple note on a piece of duct tape that I wrote that said we believe and we believe today,
According to Stenhouse Jr, the two will be working more on short tracks since they are good in Speedways and all of his Cup wins have been derived from Speedways one in Talladega and now two in Daytona International Speedway.