NASCAR: Winners and losers of the 2023 Daytona 500

Daytona 500. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Daytona 500. (James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Daytona 500
Daytona 500. (James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

The 2023 Daytona 500 featured everything fans of the sport could ask for. Let’s check out who some of the winners and losers are now that the race is over.

Man, what a way to start off the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season.

This year’s Daytona 500 was action-packed and featured some of the best actual racing at the event that fans have seen in years.

Jimmie Johnson returned from retirement, Kevin Harvick gave his all one last time, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. looked to finally break into the win column and Austin Cindric looked to make it two in a row.

At the end of the day, none of the above came to fruition and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wound up stealing the victory, winning his third career race, all of which have come at superspeedway tracks.

Let’s take a look at some of the winners and losers of this year’s Daytona 500.

NASCAR’s winners and three losers in the 2023 Daytona 500

Winner: Travis Pastrana

What a storyline this wound up being! Pastrana, 39, has competed in every wheeled sport around, winning in mostly every series he’s ever run in.

Pastrana shocked the world by not only attempting to qualify for the Daytona 500, but outrunning more equipped drivers and making his way into the show. He ran a nearly perfect race and even led a lap along the way.

While he wound up wrecking on the last lap and ultimately causing the race to end before the leaders could get to the start-finish line, Pastrana came home 11th, a result he was more than happy with. Not bad for someone who hasn’t ever competed in the Cup Series before.

Loser: Chase Elliott

Elliott, the 2020 Cup Series champion, was one of the favorites heading into the day. Him and his best friend Ryan Blaney were the No. 1 and No. 2 most heavily favored drivers to take home the trophy.

Unfortunately, Elliott got caught up in the first wreck of the day along with fellow contenders Erik Jones and Tyler Reddick. He had to settle for a 38th place finish in his eighth career Daytona 500.