2010 Daytona 500 – Click above for high-res image gallery

After three hours, 47 minutes and 16 seconds of racing that saw 52 lead changes among 21 different drivers over a record 520 miles of Daytona 500 racing, Jamie McMurray emerged the winner. McMurray, piloting the Ganassi-Earnhardt-Sabates Racing No. 1 Chevrolet, led only the final two laps of the race, which is a record low for a Daytona 500 winner.
It's unreal... It's just unbelievable. I can't explain it. To be where I was last year (unemployed and without a team) and to have Chip [Ganassi] and Felix [Sabates] take a chance on me... It means a lot to me and what a way to pay them back... It's just very emotional.
For those keeping track, this was the 33-year-old McMurray's fourth career Cup win, and he narrowly beat out Dale Earnhardt Jr by just .119 seconds after passing him for the lead on lap 206. The rest of the top five was rounded out by Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer and David Reutimann.

Click past the break for more action from this weekend's race at Daytona International Speedway.


  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: The start of the 52nd running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR)
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: A pack of cars races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR)
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Kevin Harvick leads a pack in his #29 Shell Pennzoil Chevrolet during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR) *** Local Caption *** Kevin Harvick
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #47 Kroger Floral Toyota, races Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Marcos Ambrose;Kyle Busch
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: A.J. Allmendinger, driver of the #43 Best Buy Ford, races Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** A.J. Allmendinger;Kevin Harvick
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota, races Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Brian Vickers;Martin Truex Jr.
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Kevin Harvick in his #29 Shell Pennzoil Chevrolet battles Juan Pablo Montoya in his #42 Target Chevrolet during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR) *** Local Caption *** Kevin Harvick;Juan Pablo Montoya
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, races Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Mark Martin, driver of the #5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jeff Burton;Denny Hamlin;Mark Martin
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Elliott Sadler, driver of the #19 Stanley Ford, drives by as Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, and Robby Gordon, driver of the #7 Monster Energy Toyota, loose control of their cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Elliott Sadler;Jeff Gordon;Robby Gordon
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, races Kasey Kahne, driver of the #9 Budweiser Ford, and Travis Kvapil, driver of the #37 Extenze Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Dale Earnhardt Jr.;Kasey Kahne;Travis Kvapil
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, approaches the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR) *** Local Caption *** Jamie McMurray
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR) *** Local Caption *** Jamie McMurray
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR) *** Local Caption *** Jamie McMurray
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) *** Local Caption *** Jamie McMurray
  • DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Fans crowd the infield trioval grass during pre-race festivities before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR)

[Images: Getty]


Most of the exciting racing took place late in the day – four of the nine cautions came between laps 161 and 204, and three of those were in the final 13 laps. Perhaps the biggest non-racing news from the weekend was the apparently poor condition of Daytona International Speedway's paved surface, which was last resurfaced in 1978 and is already scheduled for a full paving job in 2011.

Racing had to be stopped twice – first on lap 123, then again on lap 161 – to repair a pesky pothole that appeared about 14 feet above the yellow out-of-bounds line... right in the highly trafficked racing line. Said track president Robin Braig:
We're always prepared for these types of issues and we had the proper materials and worked to repair it. The delay was caused by the unusually cold temperature. And it was in a dip in the track surface, so it couldn't have been in a worse spot. We're not sure whether we had pavement failure or perhaps a car dug into it and lifted the pavement out... The second patch held. We used Bondo. We found some, and sometimes that works, and it did. We mixed up many batches of Bondo.
This year's running of the historic race was also notable for being the first Daytona 500 to go into overtime due to NASCAR's new rule that allows up to three extra periods in an attempt to finish under green. In this instance, just two extensions were necessary to give fans a clear winner under race conditions.

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