Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Wins First Daytona 500 In Record Breaking 212 Lap Race
Ricky Stenhouse Jr has won the Daytona 500 in a record breaking, nail biting race on Sunday. The race went into double overtime with 212 laps, in what’s now being referred to as the longest running of “The Great American Race.”
Stenhouse won with JTG Daugherty Racing, marking the third win in his career, and the first win for a single-car team in the Daytona 500 since Wood Brothers Racing and Trevor Bayne in 2011, according to reports.
JTG Daugherty Racing is owned by Tad and Jodi Geschickter, as well as former NBA player Brad Daugherty; who’s the first Black car owner to win the race. Jodi Geschickter is also one of the first women car owners to win the Daytona 500.
Mike Kelley, the crew chief working with Stenhouse for the race, discussed how he motivated Stenhouse to compete and win the race.
“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 trying to get people to believe in Ricky Stenhouse Jr. again.”
According to ESPN and their Stats & Information research, “Stenhouse’s only other victories came in 2017, at Talladega and the summer race at Daytona. His 199-race winless streak was the fourth-longest span between wins in Cup Series history.”
“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, 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.”
Kyle Larson congratulated his friend Stenhouse after jumping out of line too early in his own attempt to win:
“Happy that Ricky won. I’m super happy. That’s all I could think about after I crashed, waiting to hear that he won. He’s one of my best friends, so I was like yelling into my helmet when I helped push him to the lead there. I was hoping it was going to stay green so it would have been me or him win,” Larson said.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.