Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wins first Daytona 500 after document 212 laps

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has had a roller-coaster profession by which he needed to battle to maintain a job, misplaced his seat at a NASCAR powerhouse group and opened his 14th season mired in a five-year dropping streak.

To say this Daytona 500 was a milestone race was an understatement — for Stenhouse and for NASCAR.

Stenhouse gained the Daytona 500 in double time beyond regulation and below warning on Sunday within the longest working of “The Great American Race.” The two overtimes pushed the 65th running of the event to a record 212 laps — a dozen laps beyond the scheduled distance and a whopping 530 miles.

It provided anxious moments before a landmark celebration: The first Daytona 500-winning team co-owned by a Black man and a woman.

Stenhouse’s win for JTG Daugherty Racing was the third of his career. JTG is the first single-car team to win the Daytona 500 since Wood Brothers Racing did it with Trevor Bayne in 2011.

The team is owned by Tad and Jodi Geschickter along with former NBA player Brad Daugherty.

Daugherty, who left the track earlier Sunday with an eye irritation, is the first Black car owner to win the race, and Jodi Geschickter joined Teresa Earnhardt as female car owners to win the Daytona 500. Earnhardt ran Dale Earnhardt Inc. when Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 in 2003 and 2004.

To get to victory lane on Sunday, JTG stuck with Stenhouse and even reunited him this season with the crew chief who led him to a pair of Xfinity Series titles years ago.

Mike Kelley’s biggest task was convincing Stenhouse that he can, indeed, win races. So ahead of the Daytona 500, he taped a note inside the Chevrolet. The message? The team believes in the driver.

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“When I wakened in the present day, I advised myself that I used to be going to do one thing that I used to do for Ricky after we had powerful days,” Kelley stated. “I just wrote him a note that only he would see. It was on top of the roll bar in front of him, and it just said, ‘We believe.’ That’s been our motto the whole offseason — that we believe.

“We’re attempting to get individuals to imagine in Ricky Stenhouse Jr. once more.”

Stenhouse’s solely different victories got here in 2017, at Talladega and the summer season race at Daytona. His 199-race winless streak was the fourth-longest span between wins in Cup Series historical past, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Information analysis.

Now, the 35-year-old from Olive Branch, Mississippi, has a repeat win at Daytona in NASCAR’s greatest race of the season.

“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. “Man, that is unbelievable. This was the location of my final win, again in 2017. We’ve labored actually laborious. We had a pair pictures final yr to get a win and fell quick.

“It was a tough season, but man, we got it done, Daytona 500.”

Kyle Larson was collected in the race-ending crash after he jumped out of line too early in an attempt to win. His disappointment was alleviated by Stenhouse’s victory.

“Happy that Ricky gained. I’m tremendous completely satisfied. That’s all I may take into consideration after I crashed, ready to listen to that he gained,” Larson said. “He’s certainly one of my finest pals, so I used to be like yelling into my helmet once I helped push him to the lead there. I hoped it was going to remain inexperienced so it might have been me or him win.

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“I can’t wait to go get changed and go give him a big hug, because he is one of my great buddies.”

Reigning Cup champion Joey Logano finished second in a Ford for Team Penske, which won the race last year with Austin Cindric.

“Second is the worst, man,” Logano stated. “Congratulations to Ricky. There’s nothing like winning the Daytona 500. That’s why it stings so much finishing second.”

Christopher Bell was third in a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing and followed by Chris Buescher in a Ford for RFK Racing and pole sitter Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports in a Chevrolet. It marked the first time the pole sitter has finished in the top five since Bill Elliott in 2001.

AJ Allmendinger was sixth for Kaulig Racing, Daniel Suarez seventh for Trackhouse Racing and Ryan Blaney eighth for Team Penske. Ross Chastain of Trackhouse and Riley Herbst of Rick Ware Racing rounded out the top 10.

Action sports star Travis Pastrana finished 11th in his Daytona 500 debut, and Kevin Harvick was 12th in his final Daytona 500. Harvick is retiring at the end of the year.

Kyle Busch dropped to 0-for-18 in the Daytona 500, but he contended for his new Richard Childress Racing team. He was the leader ahead of teammate Austin Dillon with three laps remaining in regulation when a spin by Suarez brought out the caution and sent the race to overtime.

“When I wakened in the present day I advised myself that I used to be going to do one thing that I used to do for Ricky after we had powerful days. I simply wrote him a be aware that solely he would see. It was on prime of the roll bar in entrance of him, and it simply stated, ‘We imagine.’ That’s been our motto the entire offseason — that we imagine. We’re attempting to get individuals to imagine in Ricky Stenhouse Jr. once more.”

Crew chief Mike Kelly

“Back in 1998, that would be the win, boys,” Busch radioed his team in deliberate reference to how the late Dale Earnhardt won his only Daytona 500. There was no overtime then, and Earnhardt won under caution.

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Busch wound up 19th after the race-ending crash in second overtime.

“I feel that is the primary time I led lap 200, so I want it was 1998 guidelines,” Busch said. “But, no, it is simply par for the course, simply used to it and are available down right here yearly to simply discover out when and the place I’m going to crash and what lap I come out of the care heart. Who gained? I do not even know who lucked into it.”

Busch was advised Stenhouse was the victor.

“There you have it,” he replied.

Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson made his return to the collection and ran inside the highest 15 for many of the race. He was collected in one of many crashes in time beyond regulation and completed thirty first. Johnson has returned from two years racing within the IndyCar Series as half proprietor of Legacy Motor Club, and he plans to enter a handful of races.

Brad Keselowski led a race-high 42 laps however completed twenty second. He declined to talk to reporters after dropping to 0-for-14 in a race he desperately needed to win.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.