2023 Daytona 500
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/David Graham)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Wins 2023 Daytona 500

The wait is over for Ricky Stenhouse Jr at the 2023 Daytona 500.

The 35-year-old NASCAR Cup Series driver snapped a 199-race winless streak, doing so in dramatic fashion.

Stenhouse Jr. piloted his No. 47 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to victory lane Sunday in the 65th running of the Daytona 500. It’s the third career Cup Series win for Stenhouse Jr., whose two previous victories came in 2017. Stenhouse won the race under caution in double overtime, narrowly edging out defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano.

Christopher Bell, Chris Buescher and Alex Bowman rounded out the top five at Daytona International Speedway.

Stage 1

The race saw numerous lead changes early on as cars jostled for position. Bowman earned the pole position during qualifying and led until Kyle Larson took over during Lap 11.

Bell, Ty Dillon, and Aric Almirola each had a share of the lead during the first 40 laps. The race stayed under green throughout the first stage. Brad Keselowski earned the opening stage win on the 66th lap, leading five Fords into the first stage break.

Stage 2

Lap 118 saw the Great American Race’s first significant accident. Tyler Reddick and Ryan Blaney, who were running third and fourth, collided when Kevin Harvick bumped Reddick. This caused an eight-car pileup along the back straightaway that collected Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez.

Logano led the field back to green but lost the lead to Ross Chastain three laps later. Chastain won the second stage in Lap 130.

The Final Stretch

With 18 laps to go in regulation, trouble arrived once more.

Michael McDowell made contact with Ryan Preece in turn one while battling for the 14th position, causing Preece to spin and pick up five cars as collateral: Harvick, Truex Jr., Ty Gibbs, Chase Briscoe and Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson was making his first NASCAR start in two years after retiring from full-time racing. It was also the last Daytona 500 for Harvick, who announced this season will be his last.

Suarez spun out of 11th place with three laps to go, forcing the race into overtime.

“The Big One” at Daytona reared its ugly head in Lap 203.

Kyle Busch led the field to the green from the outside with Austin Dillon on the inside. Soon after, William Byron got into the back of the Austin Dillon in fourth, leading to a 13-car accident involving Chastain, Keselowski, Johnson, Austin Cindric, Denny Hamlin, Riley Herbst, Harrison Burton, Justin Haley, Zane Smith, Todd Gilliland and Noah Gragson.

The green flag finally waved again in Lap 211 and the white flag followed a lap later.

Stenhouse Jr. won the race after yet another accident involving nine cars unfolded behind him and Logano.

Per NASCAR’s caution rules, the field is frozen as soon as the yellow flag comes out. Since the caution occurred on the final lap, Stenhouse was declared the winner since he was just ahead of Logano.

Next up for the Cup Series

The Cup Series heads to Fontana, California, for the Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

Larson took the checkered flag in Fontana last season.

The race is a 400-mile, 200-lap event scheduled for Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EST.

About Ethan Eibe

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