It is the second NEXTEL race of the year at Daytona for the Pepsi 400. Rain killed qualifying leaving Jeff Gordon on the poll
“It’s going to be hot and slick,” said Jeff Gordon. “We got a great car hear,” said Mark Martin.
Early action in the race was caution filled. A lap four caution occurred when Kasey Kahne and Jeff Green got together. Both cars received minor damage.
Lap 14 saw a big pile-up when the cars of Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin got together. Behind them Reed Sorenson, Dale Jr. and Bobby Labonte get together. “I’m sure he(Denny) was getting tight,” said Stewart. He also stated that Denny does not know what the definition of team is right now. Hamlin stated that this was not that big of a deal.
Lap 22 saw a spin by Tony Raines. “Had a decent car,” said Raines. “It’s just slick,” he stated when asked on all the early cautions.
After that caution we finally got a good long green flag run with Bowyer in the lead. During this time Jamie McMurray on lap 34 got caught for passing under the yellow line. Lap 42 saw Dale Jr. slow up and take his car behind the wall for some repairs.
The caution finally came out on lap 57 for Kevin Harvick who blew a tire. The leaders pit and Bowyer still leads the race.
On lap 79 Clint Bowyer wound up changing electrical boxes dropping him off the lead of the race and back to 19th. This left Kyle Busch in the lead of the race until he lost the lead to his brother Kurt on lap 85.
Around 54 laps to go and the first green flag pit stops of the night occur. After the end of pit stops Kurt Busch leads with Jimmy Johnson in second and Kyle Busch in third.
With 46 laps to Sterling Marlin spins out. Over radio he says he blew a tire. The top eight stay out while the rest of the cars on the lead lap go to pit road for fuel. David Stremme leaving his pit gets clobbered by Paul Menard.
With 35 laps to go it is the Busch brothers in the top two positions. With 25 to go Bobby Labonte spins out and Juan Pablo Montoya gets up on top of the car of Bobby Labonte. Also involved is John Andretti and David Reutimann.
Leaders pit this time and Martin Truex Jr. leads the cars off pit road. Casey Mears does not pit and leads the race.
At the drop of the green flag it did not take long before action up front got wild. In a couple of lap Clint Bowyer was able to get the lead of the race. A few more laps go by and in a single car spin occurs by David Gilliland with 18 laps left.
At the drop of the green flag Casey Mears took the lead of the race. A couple more laps go by and the cars of Brian Vickers and Joe Nemechek get together. At the time of the caution Jeff Gordon was just ahead of Vickers for the lead of the race.
The green flag drops and with a bold racing move by Kyle Busch he takes the lead of the race. At the final lap it was Jamie McMurray on top with Kyle Busch on the bottom. Kyle Busch had the lead late, but a last second surge gave McMurray the win by inches, by .005 seconds. This finish ties for second closest finish ever by electronic scoring.
The win by Jamie ends a 166 race winless streak. “I couldn’t believe it,” said Jamie.
Kurt Busch who finished in third said he car was really good on the long runs.
Carl Edwards stated that he was never so excited for someone else winning the race. He finished in fourth,
“Cautions fell right for us,” said Jeff Gordon who finished in fifth. “Great finish.”
“Little bummed out,” said Clint Bowyer who finished in seventh. He also talked about his bad ignition box. He drives the 07 car and had the seventh pit pox for the night.
In points Jeff Gordon leads Denny Hamlin by 277 points. Dale Earnhardt Jr, is still in 12th place, but now only has a 49 point lead over Jamie McMurray.