Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pulled out a double overtime victory Sunday night in the longest Daytona 500 race ever in the open to the 75th NASCAR season.
The two overtimes pushed the 65th running of “The Great American Race” to a record 212 laps — a dozen laps beyond the scheduled distance and a whopping 530 miles.
Stenhouse, who drives for JTG Daugherty Racing, fended off Joey Logano in a thrilling finish that saw several crashes and cautions.
This was Stenhouse’s first win at Daytona and his third career Cup Series victory. He also became the first driver to win both poles and races at Daytona since Dale Jarrett in 2000.
Stenhouse, who was born in Olive Branch, Mississippi, is a two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion and was named Rookie of the Year in both Nationwide Series (2010) and Cup Series (2013).
He dedicated his win to his late father, who passed away last year.
“I’m just so proud of this team and what they’ve done,” Stenhouse said. “This is for my dad. He was my biggest fan. He was looking down on us today.”
The race was filled with drama and excitement from start to finish, as several contenders faced setbacks or eliminations.
Brad Keselowski won the first stage after leading 28 laps, but he was involved in a multi-car wreck on lap 14 of the second stage that also took out Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., William Byron, and others.
Ross Chastain topped Stage 2 after staying out on old tires, but he later spun out on lap 165 and hit Ryan Newman, ending both their chances.
Bubba Wallace showed impressive speed and led five laps early on, but he suffered damage after hitting the wall on lap 66 and never recovered.
Denny Hamlin, who was seeking his third consecutive Daytona 500 win, led a race-high 98 laps but got shuffled back in overtime and finished fifth.
The final restart came after a massive pileup on lap 210 that involved Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Cole Custer, and more.
Stenhouse held off Logano’s charge on the last lap as another crash erupted behind them involving Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and others.
NASCAR deemed Stenhouse was in the lead when a caution was called on the final lap of the race.
Stenhouse celebrated his win with burnouts on the front stretch as fireworks lit up the sky above him.
He also received congratulations from his girlfriend Danica Patrick, who retired from racing after crashing out of her final Daytona 500 in 2021.