Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had a historic Sunday.
The 35-year-old driver was able to battle it out and hold off Joey Lozano in the longest running of “The Great American Race” in NASCAR history to bring home his first Daytona 500 win. Stenhouse outlasted the field for a record 212 laps in double overtime and under caution.
It was also the first single-car team to win the Daytona 500 after Stenhouse received the checkered flag for JTG Daugherty Racing.
After the race, Stenhouse enjoyed a celebration in a way every American can relate to. Stenhouse took the Harley J. Earl Trophy from victory lane to Waffle House.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) February 20, 2023
After the race, Stenhouse explained how crew chief Mike Kelley gave him some motivation and showed belief in him to help snap his 199-race winless streak.
“I think this whole offseason, Mike just preached how much we all believed in each other. They left me a note in the car that said they believe in me and to go get the job done,” Stenhouse said, via ESPN.com. “Man, this is unbelievable. This was the site of my last win, back in 2017. We’ve worked really hard. We had a couple shots last year to get a win and fell short.
“It was a tough season, but man, we got it done, Daytona 500.”
It all paid off in the end.
Up next on the NASCAR schedule is the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Sunday, February 26.