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The Daytona 500 has a longstanding tradition of dramatic late-race crashes that determine the victor. This year was no different.
The 2023 Daytona 500 was marked by two overtimes, multiple major late crashes and dramatic drama. Ultimately, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. came from behind to claim victory and secure an incredible comeback victory for himself.
Since its inception, the Daytona 500 has been an iconic part of NASCAR's season. It's been won by some of racing's greatest drivers such as Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Denny Hamlin - making it truly one-of-a-kind!
The race has undergone many transformations over the years. In 1959, it began as Inaugural 500 Mile International Sweepstakes and then changed to become known as Daytona 500 in 1970.
On February 15th, 2004, Dale Earnhardt achieved one of the most iconic victories in Daytona 500 history - but tragically passed away during his last lap.
This was a historic occasion for NASCAR and the racing community alike, marking the first time since 2001 that a rookie won the Daytona 500.
There were some major collisions throughout the race, including Sterling Marlin getting out of his car on the backstretch under a red flag to repair his damaged fender and Juan Pablo Montoya taking out a jet dryer and turning the track into a fiery ball.
On lap 106 of the Daytona 500, Richard Petty experienced an unforgettable accident. He spun and became airborne, falling over a catch fence before coming to rest.
On Sunday, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. prevailed in double overtime to cement himself among racing's greats. The JTG Daugherty Racing driver earned his first Cup Series victory since winning the summer race at Daytona in 2017, and it marked the third for JTG-Daugherty - owned by former NBA star Brad Daugherty - since 2017.
Stage racing was introduced to NASCAR in 2017 as a means of adding some excitement into races that can sometimes feel long and uninspiring to modern viewers. Additionally, drivers have the chance to earn points towards their weekly standings by finishing each stage.
One question I often get asked when discussing stage racing is whether smaller teams have an edge when starting from the back compared to larger, better-funded competitors. While statistics are hard to interpret, it appears that better cars tend to win stages more frequently, even when starting from behind.
Consider that there are various reasons why drivers might be sent to the back. For instance, they might not have taken advantage of a stage winning opportunity because they were too busy working on their car or had failed an inspection.
On Friday, the Tour de France kicked off with its inaugural individual time trial. A 1.3 kilometre course tested some of the top riders in the field as they put their skills to the test.
Tom Dumoulin set the pace with a time that was 8 seconds faster than Daniele Sobrero's record time of 26. Simon Yates came in second place just 5 seconds behind, followed by Vincenzo Nibali, Mikel Landa and Romain Bardet who all recorded impressive times.
Meanwhile, in the women's race, Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) made an incredible charge that saw her claim victory and take home the yellow jersey. She was followed closely by Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar), Femke Gerritse (Parkhotel-Valkenburg), Rotem Gafinovitz (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss) and Sabrina Stultiens (Liv Racing-Xstra).
At the summit of the final climb, a crash blocked the road with 2.2 kilometres remaining and caused several riders to limp in. In the end, Vos held off an aggressive peloton to secure her second Tour de France victory and move up in the overall standings ahead of Silvia Persico (Valcar-Travel & Service) and Kasia Neiwiadoma (Canyon-SRAM).
On Sunday, the Daytona 500 experienced its longest ever race - going double overtime twice! This added up to 212 laps and over 530 miles, three laps longer than its previous record set in 2020.
On the opening overtime restart, Stenhouse took the lead and held on for his third career Daytona 500 victory. Joey Logano, seeking his second win of the year, battled from behind with Christopher Bell's push but couldn't keep up with Stenhouse.
On the final lap of the first overtime, Stenhouse finally got past Logano when a crash brought out the white flag and allowed him to pull away. The JTG Daugherty Racing driver made his way around Logano and Bell on the backstretch before making an outside move for the lead.
The victory was the result of a combination of factors, including an excellent car and good fortune. It marked JTG Daugherty Racing's first Daytona 500 victory - partly owned by former NBA star Brad Daugherty and Jodi Geschickter.
Stage 4 was an epic race that stretched over two overtimes and extended the Daytona 500 to a record 212 laps - 12 more than expected and 530 miles! Ricky Stenhouse Jr. earned his third career victory at this legendary superspeedway and became only the 42nd different winner to do so.
Stenhouse began from the pole and led for 11 laps to claim his first Daytona 500 victory with JTG Daugherty Racing, owned by Brad Daugherty. After recovering from a late race wreck and adding on Christopher Bell's late push to complete what would be Chevy's first double-overtime Daytona 500 victory since Austin Dillon in 2018.
The race was dominated by a blue oval crew who seemed to control the field for some time. They spent much of their time up front with an expansive multi-car line and remained close throughout the initial two stages.
With three laps to go, a crash sent the race into caution and forced overtime - an uncommon occurrence in Daytona 500 history. When Stenhouse made his move for the lead on the opening lap, Joey Logano bumped him in the corner by Bell, sending him into the wall.
On Sunday, March 31st, 2016, the 65th Daytona 500 was run over two overtimes and 212 laps - taking it into historic territory. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. claimed his third career win driving for JTG Daugherty Racing in a Chevrolet.
After starting the race with a car he felt was too slow, Stenhouse quickly made up ground and eventually took the lead. He held off Joey Logano's late-race charge as he sought his second win in the race.
On his initial overtime attempt, Stenhouse held a slight lead before an unfortunate multiple car crash forced him to restart the race. That's when his story truly began as Stenhouse battled back for his first Daytona 500 victory with help from Christopher Bell.
On Sunday's Daytona 500, Stenhouse won an iconic stage that brought to mind 1998: as Busch prepared to take the checkered flag, he radioed his team that he believed Stenhouse would prevail. With that knowledge, all eyes were on Stenhouse as he headed toward victory.
Stenhouse achieved victory because he believed in himself. And when that belief proved correct, it was an incredible moment for the 35-year-old.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. persevered through a series of incidents to secure victory in overtime Sunday at Daytona 500, marking its longest ever race according to NASCAR - 200 laps turned into 212 and 530 miles.
Stenhouse's victory at Talladega marked his first in the Cup Series since 2017 and third of his career. He drove for JTG Daugherty Racing, owned by former NBA star Brad Daugherty, driving a Chevrolet.
After a crash involving at least 10 cars, Stenhouse began the second overtime from fifth place and held off Joey Logano's late charge to capture victory. Logano, driving for Team Penske, finished in second in a Ford; Christopher Bell in a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing followed closely behind, followed by Chris Buescher for RFK Racing in another Ford. To round out the top 5, Chris Buescher finished fourth for Ford.
Overtime is an integral part of most sports, as it often helps to settle close games that end regulation time with a tie. In 2021, 34 regular season games ended in ties and 629 (including two in the postseason) have been decided by overtime since 1974 - an impressive statistic!