Throughout his career, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. has been labeled as one of the most aggressive superspeedway races in the NASCAR Cup Series. In some instances, that has worked to his detriment, but on Sunday, it worked exclusively to his benefit.
Stenhouse, who started Sunday’s 500-mile contest from 31st, was able to rebound from a speeding penalty during the last cycle of green-flag pit stops, essentially eliminating the JTG Daugherty Racing driver from contention with 21 laps remaining.
The Olive Branch, Mississippi-native was then saved by a caution thrown for an eight-car accident in turn one, saving any hope of Stenhouse recovering a good finish in his No. 47 Cottonelle Chevrolet.
It was then that the 35-year-old driver was able to maneuver his way through the lead pack as the laps dwindled down, avoiding several accidents that broke out in the closing stages of Sunday’s Daytona 500.
The two-time NASCAR Cup Series winner was able to dart inside of Joey Logano during the first of two NASCAR Overtime attempts and was credited with leading the final 10 laps of Sunday’s season-opener, which went 12 laps past its scheduled distance.
Stenhouse was able to stay alongside Logano throughout the entirety of the second attempt at overtime and was declared the winner of the 2023 Daytona 500 by NASCAR officials after a caution came out for a multi-car accident.
Logano was credited with a runner-up finish, while Christopher Bell and Chris Buescher were able to make their way through the accident to collect finishes of third and fourth place. Alex Bowman rounded out the top five.
AJ Allmendinger, Daniel Suarez, Ryan Blaney, Ross Chastain, and Riley Herbst completed the top-10. Herbst, driving for Rick Ware Racing, piloted the No. 15 Ford Mustang to a top-10 finish in his NASCAR Cup Series debut.
After running inside the top-10 on the final lap of the race, Travis Pastrana came home in 11th, also in his NASCAR Cup Series debut piloting a third entry for 23XI Racing.
Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Daytona featured an incredible 53 lead changes, the most in a Daytona 500 since 2011, during the two-car tandem era of superspeedway racing.
Leaving Daytona, Joey Logano holds a two-point lead over Chris Buescher, as the series gets ready to head to the final event at Auto Club Speedway’s current two-mile configuration.