NASCAR »

McMurray takes to Daytona 500 win

He only led two laps, but Jamie McMurray chose the right two as he claimed a maiden Daytona 500 victory on his return to Chip Ganassi's team.

Jamie McMurray won the 52nd running of the Daytona 500, in what turned into a stock car racing mini-series in three parts on Sunday afternoon and evening.

The adrenalin rush of the final two laps - the second attempt at a green-white-chequered finish under rules implemented by NASCAR before Thursday's Gatorade Duels - all but erased the frustration of almost two-and-a-half hours of stoppages as track workers at Daytona International Speedway repaired potholes in the asphalt between turns one and two. The first red-flag period lasted an hour and 40 minutes, while the second cost another 44 minutes.

McMurray, celebrating his reunion with owner Chip Ganassi with a victory in the first race of their second tenure together, crossed the finish line 0.119secs ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr, who surged from the pack to chase McMurray to the stripe on lap 208, eight laps beyond the scheduled distance. Three of McMurray's four victories have now come on restrictor-plate racetracks, and his victory is the ninth in a row for a different winner at the 500.

McMurray spun his tyres on the restart on lap 207, but got a push down the frontstretch and through the first turn from third-place finisher Greg Biffle. Securing the top spot from Kevin Harvick on the backstretch, McMurray led the final two laps. Those were the only laps he led, the lowest total for a Daytona 500 winner. The race featured 21 different leaders, with McMurray the 21st - a record for the Daytona 500 and a record for the speedway, while the 52 lead changes were third most for the race.

"Oh, my God!" he screamed after taking the chequered flag, before later having to fight back the tears, "I can't freaking believe it right now. Thank you so much. I can't believe we just won the Daytona 500."

Although he won one race last season at Roush Fenway Racing, he struggled in his final year there and was the odd man out from his team's NASCAR-mandated reduction from five teams to four.

"It's a dream - it really is," he admitted, "To be where I was last year, and for [sponsor Bass Pro Shops owner] Johnny Morris, Chip and [co-owner] Felix [Sabates] to take a chance on me and let me come back..... what a way to pay them back."

Clint Bowyer, who led 37 laps, finished fourth, followed by David Reutimann. Martin Truex Jr, Harvick, 2009 winner Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Juan Pablo Montoya completed the top ten.

An accident on lap 194 involving Elliott Sadler, Ryan Newman and Travis Kvapil set up a succession of three two-lap dashes. Caution interrupted the first on lap 199 when Bill Elliott, Joey Logano and Boris Said crashed in turn three, with Biffle less than a mile from what would have been his first Daytona 500 victory.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jamie McMurray celebrates victory in the 2010 Daytona 500   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30, 2015 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30, 2015 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #33 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, celebrates after taking first in the Xfinity Series Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville on at Road America on August 29, 2015 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, qualifies for tenth position Friday, August 21, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Coopers Stardard Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 race, at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, driver of the #7 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15, 2015 in Lexington, Ohio. (Picture Credit: Jonathan Moore/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, driver of the #7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway on 30 May 2015. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.