Once the green flag was waived for the last time on Sunday, it was Kevin Harvick who led the field, ahead of McMurray and Greg Biffle. The green-white-chequered finish in the dying stages of the race saw the Earnahardt Ganassi Racing driver go past Harvick on the outside and get into the lead.
Once there, the only thing McMurray had to focus on was to hold off Hendrick Motorsports' Dale Earnhardt Jr. until the chequered flag. And that was no easy task, as Earnhardt drove aggressively in the second part of the race to grab his first win in years in the Sprint Cup Series. Instead, McMurray helped his boss become the second team owner in North American sports to grab wins in the Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Daytona and Daytona 500.
“Oh, my God! I can't freaking believe it right now. Thank you so much. I can't believe we just won the Daytona 500. It's a dream – it really is. To be where I was last year, and for Johnny Morris [owner of sponsor Bass Pro Shops], Chip and [co-owner] Felix (Sabates) to take a chance on me and let me come back – what a way to pay them back,” said McMurray after the race, as he scored his first Daytona 500 win of career at his very first race with his former team.
“It was a lot of fun. It went by so fast, I couldn't really tell you the process. But I just remember going down the back straightaway and getting in between Greg, and I don't remember who was on the outside of me. It was frustrating to come that close. But, hell, we were running 22nd at the first 'green-white-chequered,'” added Earnhardt Jr.
Biffle, Clint Bowyer and David Reutimann completed the Top 5, while followed by Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Juan Montoya. Reigning champion Jimmie Johnson retired due to mechanical problems in the late laps of the race, as he had previously damaged his car when going over the hole on the track.