Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Cements His Place in NASCAR History

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Getty Ricky Stenhouse Jr. celebrates a Daytona 500 win.

JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has cemented his place in NASCAR history. He won the Daytona 500 and returned to Victory Lane for the first time since the 2017 Cup Series season.

An aggressive move paved the way for this victory. Austin Dillon and Kyle Busch made up the front row during the first overtime restart, but Stenhouse dove to the bottom and took the lead with some help from Kyle Larson. However, he was unable to take the white flag before Austin Dillon wrecked after a push from the No. 24 of William Byron.

There were questions about Stenhouse’s fuel as the field lined up for double overtime in the longest Daytona 500 in NASCAR history. He was certainly close, but he had just enough to get the job done.

Joey Logano took the lead late, and it appeared that he could potentially capture the win. However, Stenhouse drew even with the No. 22 and ultimately pulled ahead as Larson spun off the nose of Travis Pastrana and brought out the caution for the final time. NASCAR determined that Stenhouse was in the lead at the time of the caution, which made him the winner.

This win cements Stenhouse’s name in NASCAR history. He now has a Crown Jewel in his collection of trophies, and he can say that he has won the biggest race in stock car racing. There are multiple Hall of Famers that were unable to win the Daytona 500 in their careers

“I think this whole off-season Mike [Kelley] just preached how much we all believed in each other,” Stenhouse told FOX Sports’ Jamie Little. “They left me a note in the car that said they believe in me and to go get the job done tonight. I made a few mistakes. We were able to battle back.

“This Kroger Continental team worked really, really hard in the off-season, great pit stops, Hendrick engines. Glad a Chevy won. 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.”

Stenhouse Now Can Prepare for 2 Important Events

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

GettyRicky Stenhouse Jr. is a Daytona 500 winner.

The win snapped a winless streak lasting several years, and it also set up Stenhouse for two important events. He is now the first playoff driver, and he has a secure spot in the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Stenhouse was able to compete in the 2022 All-Star Race, but he did not have a guaranteed spot in the lineup. He had to race his way in during the All-Star Open that served as the evening’s appetizer. Now, Stenhouse can just look forward to taking on the main event and battling for $1 million.

While Stenhouse has a guaranteed spot in the All-Star Race, he does not “officially” have one in the playoffs. He is the first driver to pencil his name into the 16-driver field, but he will have to continue stacking points in case there are more than 16 drivers that win during the regular season.

Stenhouse Justified JTG Daugherty Racing’s Faith

Stenhouse has been the driver of the No. 47 Chevrolet Camaro since the 2020 season. He has delivered some standout moments, but he has also struggled with DNFs due to crashes.

JTG Daugherty Racing maintained faith in Stenhouse over the years, and it continued to give him contract extensions. The latest was a multi-year deal that he signed prior to the race at Nashville Superspeedway in June 2022.

This deal ensured that Stenhouse will remain in the No. 47 for the foreseeable future, and it provided him with an opportunity to focus on pursuing strong performances. Now he has justified this faith in him by securing the team’s second Cup Series win, the first since AJ Allmendinger won at Watkins Glen International in 2014.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments