Week 2 GFT NASCAR AI Driver Rankings: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wins Daytona 500 and rockets to P2 in the rankings

Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle
3 min readFeb 22, 2023

19 February 2023
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — It took double overtime and the longest Daytona 500 in NASCAR history (actually 530 miles), for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to win the “Great American Race” Sunday. It was Stenhouse’s third win in the Cup Series and first since winning the Daytona summer race in 2017, snapping a streak of 199 races without a victory. For JTG Daugherty, the team hadn’t found Victory Lane since AJ Allmendinger won at Watkins Glen in 2014, a drought of 266 races.

With a push from his dirt track buddy Kyle Larson after the second overtime restart, Stenhouse edged to the front alongside reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano and battled for the lead when contact from Aric Almirola‘s Ford started Travis Pastrana‘s Toyota spinning in Turn 2. Pastrana‘s Camry clipped the Chevrolet of Kyle Larson and set it rocketing into the outside wall which brought out the yellow caution flag and froze the field. After a lengthy review of the video, NASCAR officials found that Stenhouse was in the lead when the Caution came out and determined the №47 JTG Daugherty Chevrolet the winner.

Credit: DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA — FEBRUARY 19: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #47 Kroger/Cottonelle Chevrolet, and crew celebrate in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series 65th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2023 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Credit: DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA — FEBRUARY 19: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #47 Kroger/Cottonelle Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series 65th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2023 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Week 2 GFT NASCAR AI Driver Rankings
Daytona 500 Results Shake Things Up

Week 2 NASCAR GFT Top 25 AI Driver Rankings following the Daytona 500 on February 19, 2023 (Image: GFT Digital / gofullthrottle.net)

Yes, a win in the Duels counts.
NASCAR may not count The Clash at the Coliseum or the Duels in the Driver Points, but our models use those results in our AI models. The Go Full Throttle algorithms placed Joey Logano P1 in our GFT Pre-Season rankings as the Cup Champion. His 16th place finish at The Clash in LA dropped him down to P14. But the Team Penske driver then drove his №22 Ford Mustang to a win in Duel number 1 on Thursday and finished 2nd in the Daytona 500 Sunday resulting in Logano’s return to the top of the GFT rankings.

The Go Full Throttle AI Driver Rankings use our proprietary algorithms utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to dynamically tune and improve accuracy over time. The inputs into the models include (but are not limited to) NASCAR Driver Points, Stage Points, Laps Led, Wins (with a significant weighting), Top 5 finishes, Top 10 Finishes, and Qualifying results).

Next up, we start the “West Coast Swing” in Fontana, CA at Auto Club Speedway., followed by Las Vegas, and then our home track Phoenix Raceway.

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Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle

Go Full Throttle editors and reporters bring you news & commentary on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws. Member: National Motorsports Press Association