The 57th annual Daytona 500 was held on Sunday March 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway and brought together all of NASCAR’s most premier drivers for the biggest race of the year. The highly anticipated race marked Jeff Gordan’s final Daytona 500 appearance and highlighted a massive makeover to the speedway, but Joey Logano stole the show when he pulled away from the pack just in time to emerge as the 2015 Daytona 500 Champion and complete his Cinderella story.
Leading up to the race, NASCAR fans anticipated yet another Hendrick Motorsports driver to take home the win, the only question was which team member would snag first place. As the Daytona 500 got underway, two-time champion Matt Kenseth, an extremely hopeful Tony Stewart, and rookie Ryan Blaney collided for the first major accident at Turn 4 on lap 41. Throughout the first 100 laps of the race, Jeff Gordon held the lead for 77 of them, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. took over the top spot at Lap 114. After holding onto the lead for 32 laps, a third Hendrick teammate took over as Jimmie Johnson replaced Earnhardt at number one with 50 laps remaining and led the pack for 39. For the entirety of the Daytona 500, just a few non-members of the Hendrick Motorsports team, such as Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Danny Hamlin, and Joey Logano, were able to compete as front runners. With the remaining laps dwindling to nine, Logano finally stole the lead from Hamlin and managed to hold off Harvick even with a last-minute caution flag at only three laps to go. Crossing the finish line in first, Joey Logano was named the 2015 Daytona 500 winner with Kevin Harvick finishing in second place and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in third.
After falling short of victory at last year’s Spring Cup Championship, Joey Logano confirmed his place among the sport’s best drivers at the 2015 Daytona 500. Surpassing each of the top drivers in racing, such as Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for first place, Joey Logan’s name is now featured among NASCAR’s elite. Since being dumped by Joe Gibbs Racing and joining Team Penske, Logano has recorded one of the greatest comebacks in racing history to become a power player in NASCAR.