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McMurray wins Daytona 500

Winner Jamie McMurray takes the chequered flag ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr to win the 2010 Daytona 500Jamie McMurray claimed his maiden Daytona 500 win in dramatic fashion, giving Earnahardt Ganassi Racing its first victory since the two teams merged.

McMurray led for only the last two laps, racing his way to the front in the closing laps of the race which took over six hours to complete after two red flag interruptions for a hole in the track at Turn 2.

McMurray started the final sprint from the front row alongside Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick, who was the leader when the green flag waved for the last time and looked well-placed for a second Daytona 500 victory.

In what was the second attempt at a green-white-chequered finish, McMurray drove his Chevy past that of Harvick on the outside thanks to a big push from Roush Fenway's Greg Biffle, and then held off the charging Dale Earnhardt Jr to claim his third restrictor-plate win in his first race back with his former employer.

McMurray's maiden Sprint Cup win came in 2002, in only his second race, when Ganassi hired him to replace the injured Sterling Marlin. His victory now puts his boss up with Roger Penske as the only owners to have won the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 24 Hours and the Daytona 500.

"Biffle helped me out," said an excited McMurray, who was in tears after claiming the greatest win of his career. "I spun the tyres on the restart. It is just a gamble on which line to get the biggest run. Greg gave me an unbelievable push down the back stretch."

Earnhardt made aggressive moves in the closing laps, finding his way to the front to challenge for victory, but came short of his second Daytona 500 win.

"It was a lot of fun," said Earnhardt. "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.

"We all kind of wiggled through that whole deal. Jamie got away from us. I didn't even know where I was. Then we got into [Turn] 3. I was counting in my head how many laps we ran. I knew we were coming to the chequered, I was running second, this is awesome but it kind of sucks at the same time.

"It was frustrating to come that close. But hell, we were running 22nd at the first 'green-white-chequered'."

Biffle finished third ahead of Bowyer, while Harvick, who had looked the clear favourite after leading the most laps and getting to the front for the final restart, lost the draft after McMurray passed him and finished seventh.

The race was disrupted twice by a hole in the asphalt at Turn 2, first on lap 122 and then again on lap 159. The damaged surface appeared to be the cause of tyre issues for reigning champion Jimmie Johnson and John Andretti, and officials stopped the race each time in order to make repairs.

The first attempt to repair the damage was stretched the first red flag period to one hour and 41 minutes. The race restarted but had to be stopped again soon after as the repair started to break up, with a piece of it damaging the splitter on Clint Bowyer's Childress Chevrolet. Another repair to the damaged track had the race stopped for 45 minutes before the fix allowed the race to run its full distance.

Reigning Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson retired late on with a broken rear axle and was classified 35th, while Kasey Kahne, who won the second Duel qualifier on Thursday, was involved in an incident on the first attempt to a green-white-chequered finish and finished 30th.

Pos  Driver                Car         Laps
 1.  Jamie McMurray        Chevrolet    208
 2.  Dale Earnhardt Jr     Chevrolet    208
 3.  Greg Biffle           Ford         208
 4.  Clint Bowyer          Chevrolet    208
 5.  David Reutimann       Toyota       208
 6.  Martin Truex Jr       Toyota       208
 7.  Kevin Harvick         Chevrolet    208
 8.  Matt Kenseth          Ford         208
 9.  Carl Edwards          Ford         208
10.  Juan Pablo Montoya    Chevrolet    208
11.  Jeff Burton           Chevrolet    208
12.  Mark Martin           Chevrolet    208
13.  Paul Menard           Ford         208
14.  Kyle Busch            Toyota       208
15.  Brian Vickers         Toyota       208
16.  David Ragan           Ford         208
17.  Denny Hamlin          Toyota       208
18.  Michael Waltrip       Toyota       208
19.  Scott Speed           Toyota       208
20.  Joey Logano           Toyota       208
21.  Bobby Labonte         Chevrolet    208
22.  Tony Stewart          Chevrolet    208
23.  Kurt Busch            Dodge        208
24.  Elliott Sadler        Ford         208
25.  Boris Said            Ford         208
26.  Jeff Gordon           Chevrolet    208
27.  Bill Elliott          Ford         208
28.  Robby Gordon          Toyota       208
29.  Travis Kvapil         Ford         205
30.  Kasey Kahne           Ford         202
31.  Robert Richardson Jr  Ford         202
32.  AJ Allmendinger       Ford         198
33.  Michael McDowell      Toyota       195
34.  Ryan Newman           Chevrolet    193
35.  Jimmie Johnson        Chevrolet    185
36.  Brad Keselowski       Dodge        174
37.  Sam Hornish Jr        Dodge        160
38.  John Andretti         Ford         117
39.  Regan Smith           Chevrolet     90
40.  Max Papis             Toyota        89
41.  Marcos Ambrose        Toyota        79
42.  Mike Bliss            Chevrolet     76
43.  Joe Nemechek          Toyota        64
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Drivers praise new Daytona surface
Daytona to get new surface
Daytona track repair begins
Ganassi: Daytona win the favourite
McMurray: Daytona win is 'a dream'
Daytona 500 gets back underway
Leader Harvick wants race to resume
Track problem halts Daytona again
Daytona resumes following stoppage
Hole in the track halts Daytona 500
Montoya upbeat on Daytona chances
Papis excited about first Daytona 500
Rain disrupts Daytona build-up
Kahne victorious in second Duel
Johnson grabs first Duel win
Johnson switches to back-up car
Martin takes Daytona 500 pole