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