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Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG-Daugherty Racing Slayed the Giants with Daytona 500 Win

auto feb 19 nascar cup series daytona 500
Rickey Stenhouse Jr. and Team Slayed NASCAR GiantsIcon Sportswire - Getty Images
  • JTG-Daugherty team co-owners Tad and Jodi Geschickter believed in their vision, their team and their 18 corporate sponsors (Kroger and Fortune 500 top share brands).

  • They knew they were the small team that could be successful.

  • Jodi Geschickter described the victory as something the team desperately needed.


With only one victory in 14 years in NASCAR’s Cup Series, there were those who often questioned JTG-Daugherty Racing as to why it chose to continue the daily struggle a one-car operation faces in stock car racing’s top level where multi-car teams normally rule the landscape.

When the pandemic struck, people constantly knocked on their door, wanting to purchase the small team’s coveted charter. Each time team co-owners Tad and Jodi Geschickter told them no. They believed in their vision, their team and their 18 corporate sponsors (Kroger and Fortune 500 top share brands).

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They knew they were the small team that could be successful. They believed in Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the sixth driver to campaign one of their Chevrolets, and on Sunday, he delivered them a victory in stock car racing’s most coveted race—the Daytona 500.

auto feb 19 nascar cup series daytona 500
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was flying high after winning the Daytona 500 on Sunday.Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

A former Sprint Car driver known for his prowess on NASCAR’s superspeedways, Stenhouse had inched ahead of Joey Logano just seconds before the caution button was hit for a multi-car crash on the race’s final lap in double overtime. The race ended a half lap shy of the checkered flag, but that didn’t matter to the 45-employee team.

“I kept telling myself, if we just keep working on our car and keep believing in ourselves, maybe something will work out,” crew chief Mike Kelley said.

“When I woke up this morning, I told myself—and this is something I used to do for Ricky when we had tough days in the Xfinity (Series) car—I just wrote him a note that only he would see. It was on top of the roll bar in front of him, and it said, “We believe, and we believe today.”

“We believe” has been the operation’s motto and it paid dividends in the season opening race, making the team the first single-car operation to win the Daytona 500 since the Wood Brothers in 2011.