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TC Daily Pit Stop: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Wins 2023 Daytona 500, Kyle Larson Takes Nasty Impact on Final Lap, and More from Sunday's Season-Opener
TC Daily Pit Stop: Monday, February 20th, 2023
PHOTO CREDIT: Craig White, TobyChristie.com
Throughout his career, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. has been labeled as one of the most aggressive superspeedway races in the NASCAR Cup Series. In some instances, that has worked to his detriment, but on Sunday, it worked exclusively to his benefit.
Stenhouse, who started Sunday’s 500-mile contest from 31st, was able to rebound from a speeding penalty during the last cycle of green-flag pit stops, essentially eliminating the JTG Daugherty Racing driver from contention with 21 laps remaining.
The Olive Branch, Mississippi-native was then saved by a caution thrown for an eight-car accident in turn one, saving any hope of Stenhouse recovering a good finish in his No. 47 Cottonelle Chevrolet.
It was then that the 35-year-old driver was able to maneuver his way through the lead pack as the laps dwindled down, avoiding several accidents that broke out in the closing stages of Sunday’s Daytona 500.
The two-time NASCAR Cup Series winner was able to dart inside of Joey Logano during the first of two NASCAR Overtime attempts and was credited with leading the final 10 laps of Sunday’s season-opener, which went 12 laps past its scheduled distance.
While competing for a spot inside the top five, Travis Pastrana got a difficult bump from Aric Almirola, sending the No. 67 Toyota Camry TRD spinning to the inside of the track, where he hooked Kyle Larson in the right rear.
Larson, who started on the outside of the front row, shot into the outside wall head-on, destroying his No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro and collecting multiple other cars including Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, and Chris Buescher.
At the moment of caution, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. was ruled the race leader, giving him the victory in the 2023 Daytona 500 over Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, Chris Buescher, and Alex Bowman.
As we’ve come to expect in the late stages of any superspeedway race in the NASCAR Cup Series, “The Big One” has plagued the field in the closing stages of Sunday’s Daytona 500.
The accident happened when Austin Dillon, running at the tail-end of the top-10, was tipped in the middle of the pack, spinning in front of the field and collecting several other drivers, including William Byron, Todd Gilliland, and defending winner Austin Cindric.
The accident collected several contenders for the win, thinning the pack out to less than 20 cars for the second attempt at NASCAR Overtime.
As the laps wind down in the 2023 Daytona 500, the intensity is continuing to pick up, and with less than 20 laps remaining in the season-opening event at Daytona, the kettle has finally boiled over.
Leading a second pack, Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher were forced to checkup as they approached the lead pack, which caused a major accordion, and eventually an accident, which collected eight cars.
Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe, Martin Truex, Jr., Michael McDowell, Ryan Preece, Ty Gibbs, and Jimmie Johnson all got some damage in the accident, which caused multiple retirements in the late stages of the event.
The 65th annual Daytona 500 had been a fierce, yet clean race. But then on lap 118 of Sunday’s race, things got a bit wild.
Tyler Reddick, who was running around fourth near the front of the field, received a shove from Kevin Harvick. The push was a bit too intense and sent Reddick skidding down into Ryan Blaney’s No. 12 Ford Mustang and Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 19 Toyota Camry.
Blaney definitely suffered more damage than Truex in the incident.
Reddick’s car skidded back up into the outside wall in Turn 4. As Reddick’s hopes of winning the race faded, other drivers piled into the crash as well.
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