Stenhouse Out Paces Field, Wrecks To Win The 500

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, February 19 2023


Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is the 2023 Daytona 500 champ. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Chris Owens)


Journeyman Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. added Daytona 500 winner to his resume when he won it in two overtimes on Sunday. 

The JTG Daugherty driver’s win was his first in the 500 and third in the NASCAR Cup Series.

It came as the field wrecked behind him after the white flag had waved.

The two overtimes pushed the 65th running of the race to a record 212 laps — 12 laps beyond the scheduled distance.

His car had to be pushed to the garages as it had run out of fuel.

Team Penske’s Joey Logano, last year’s NASCAR Cup Series champion, was second. 

The race featured the bumper-to-bumper, single- and double-file racing that has marked the kind of competition at DIS in recent years.

The race was fairly clean though the first 2.5 stages. The only major wreck came on Lap 117 and eight cars. But several of those cars belonged to top drivers and cost Chase Elliott, Ty Dillon, Tyler Reddick and Erik Jones chances for victory.

Led by race leaders Chris Buescher and Brad Keselowski, drivers began hitting the pits for their final scheduled stops of the day with 25 laps to go. When pitting cycled through, Harrison Burton, who short pitted, had the lead.

A lap or two later, with 19 to go, a big wreck occurred. Seven cars were involved. Unable to continue were Martin Truex, Jr., Ryan Preece, 

Burton had the lead on the restart on Lap 13. Next to him was Logano. Behind those two Fords were six Chevrolets, led by William Byron.

With 10 laps to go, the Fords of Keslowski were running 1-2. Behind them were Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon and William Byron in Chevys.

Behind that, the field was running single file.

With four laps to go, Busch went high with teammate Dillon behind him and took the lead. 

A lap later, Daniel Suarez spun into the grass, the caution was called and an overtime finish was set up.

On the restart, Busch took the outside lane, Dillon, the inside. Dillon dropped down behind Busch, Stenhouse went past on the outside but before the field could take the white flag, a 13-car wreck occurred to set up a second OT.

Leading the restart were Stenhouse, on the outside, and Larson. 

Stenhouse was back out front when a wreck ended the race and he got his victory.

(This story will be updated shortly)

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, February 19 2023
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