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Stenhouse Survives Late Race Melees to Win Daytona 500

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Survives Chaos In The Second-Half of the Daytona 500 to Hoist the Harley J. Earl Trophy

What’s Happening?

As the 65th running of the Daytona 500 comes to a close, a surprising victor hoists the Harley J. Earl Trophy as its champion. But getting there was a 500+ mile battle of dodging multiple on-track incidents throughout the day.

For instance, a crash before the end of the second stage collected 500 threats Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney while a second multi-car pileup took out threats from the SHR stable, Ryan Preece, Chase Briscoe, and severely damaged the No. 4 of Kevin Harvick as he limped out of his final Daytona 500 unceremoniously.

But while those incidents defiantly took out some strong hitters, it was the incident during the first of two Green-White-Checkered attempts in Daytona which would trigger the second Green-White Checkered of the night (the first one being created by a Daniel Suarez spin).

In that crash, strong hitters such as Austin Dillon, Jimmie Johnson, William Byron, last year’s winner Austin Cendric, and Harrison Burton were all eliminated from contention. All of that madness put Stenhouse in prime position to strike.

After the white flag had flown and the field was in turns one and two, Kyle Larson, who was second in line behind Stenhouse, went high but nobody was there to help him. He fell back rapidly through the tunnel in the middle of the pack before getting tagged by Travis Pastrana who was out of shape after getting hit from behind by Aric Almirola.

As Logano and Stenhouse battled for the lead down the backstretch, the caution was thrown and the race had ended. It just so happened that Stenhouse was ahead of Logano by a nose at the time of caution.

You Need To Know:

  • Rickey Stenhouse Jr. walks out of Daytona Beach as the Champion of the 65th running of the Great American Race.
  • Stenhouse most likely would not have gotten there, however, if the race had been run clean throughout. Some earlier incidents as well as two massive crashes in the final laps, along with his ability to keep a clean nose throughout the day, certainly helped in his chances.
  • Rickey Stenhouse Jr. seems to be viewed favorably by most fans. However, this will almost certainly add to the long-lingering debate about whether or not superspeedway racing consists of mostly luck or driving skill.

Regardless of any criticisms of Stenhouse’s victory here today, he is still your 2023 Daytona 500 Champion and almost a lock for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Mr. Stenhouse, your media tour begins this week.

The Main Characters

Rickey Stenhouse Jr. is the champion of the 65th running of the Daytona 500 so how could he not be a main character? He ran a clean race, stayed out of trouble, and that’s what got him the big W today.

All I can say is the other main character(s) is the field at large. A lot of wrecks in addition to Stenhouse’s clean house opened up that door of big opportunity. The first crash took out several heavy hitters:

That was followed by another baby big one, which was seemingly the first domino to fall in a long series:

Then, predictably, a chain of events set off and the totaled racecars just started piling up. Here, Kyle Busch’s lifeline in teammate Austin Dillion gets taken out:

This big one ended the race under caution:

UPDATE 7:30 PM EST 2/21

Larson and Stenhouse collaborated on a masterful Talladega Nights TikTok.

Around The Garage

Kyle Busch leaves Daytona very upset as another one in his 18th attempt slips through his fingers. Bob Pockrass caught up with him:

Austin Dillion was cleared from the infield care center. Here are his thoughts after tonight’s carnage as Bob Pockrass catches up to him:

Bob Pockrass caught up with good ole 7-Time, Jimmie Johson. Here he comments on his day:

William Byron was involved in one of those big wrecks. He had this to say to Bob Pockrass:

Owner of JDG-Daugherty Racing, Brad Daugherty, took to Twitter to congratulate his driver:

Here, the Dinger explains how he stilled managed to finish sixth amid all the insanity:

Noah Lewis caught up with 2021 Champ, Kyle Larson on his smoked chances:

Here, Daytona 500 Champion, Rickey Stenhouse Jr. takes to Twitter during his victory lane celebration:

In The Stands

While congratulations certainly are in order for Rickey Stenhouse, it would seem that fans are still highly upset with FOX the amount of commercials during this year’s event. Peter G had this to say:

Was this the Commercial 500? Jrrmyy seems to think so…

Kim Melton criticizes the FOX broadcast for not giving an update on Larson.

Nichole clamors for Stenhouse to grow the mullet back out. #BringBackTheMullett

It was an emotional moment for Saveon as their driver crossed the finish line in first!

Beers, anyone?

This fan seems to think 7-Time was overhyped for this race:

On Your Screen

OOTG host, Eric Estepp was hopeful for the top-5 to settle it amongst themselves coming to the line:

Danny B. tweets as Samantha Busch sits eagerly on the edge of her seat for the finish:

From The Press Box

Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports tweets the final results of the 65th running of the Daytona 500:

What started out as a tame and uneventful running of the Great American Race turned quickly into a wreck-fest whipping out a healthy chunk of the field. This opened the door wide-open for unlikely hero, Rickey Stenhouse Jr. to waltz right through.

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Picture of Cody Williams

Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
All Posts