Mississippi’s very own Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., took home his first Daytona 500 victory Sunday afternoon.
After opening his 14th NASCAR season on a five-year losing streak, Stenhouse was able to break the glass ceiling by winning “The Great American Race” in historic fashion.
The race went into double overtime for a total of 212 laps — a new Daytona 500 record.
After the race, Stenhouse paid tribute to the people who worked behind the scenes to ensure that his car was in perfect condition to put him into a winning position. He also gave a shoutout to Ole Miss as well as his friends in the Magnolia State.
“Man, it was a battle. We knew where victory lane was here and we got back, finally. Over 2,000 days ago, this single-car team worked really hard, and I was glad to put them in victory lane,” Stenhouse said after winning the race. “Hotty Toddy! All my boys back in Mississippi — let’s go!”
The Olive Branch native broke additional barriers by winning the first-ever Daytona 500 for his team, JTG Daughtry, which is owned by Tad and Jodi Geschickter along with former NBA player Brad Daughtry, the only Black male in NASCAR team ownership.
Prior to Sunday’s milestone, Stenhouse’s most recent victory took place in Talladega in 2017. His 199-race streak without a win marked the fourth-longest in NASCAR, according to ESPN.