Jamie McMurray won the 45th Annual Camping World RV Sales 500, driving the #1 Cessna Chevrolet. This is McMurray’s seventh victory in 398 NASCAR Sprint Cup series races. This is his first victory of the 2013 season, but his second win at Talladega Super Speedway.
After his Talladega win McMurray celebrated in Victory Lane with his wife Christy and for the first time, their children, almost 3 year old son Carter and 8 month old daughter Hazel. McMurray, who is well known for his emotional outbursts, held back his emotion as he hugged his son.
“To have that with my family was really cool,” McMurray said, this is McMurray first victory since his son and daughter’s birth.
“That’s pretty awesome,” McMurray said after hugging and kissing his son. “I told Christy (his wife), it would be so cool to have your kids in victory lane. That would just be the coolest thing ever.”
McMurray’s last NASCAR Cup victory was the 2010 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
McMurray rolled off ninth for the start of the race after qualifying was rained out Friday afternoon, with the field lined up by the speed from the first practice session. McMurray led on two separate occasions for 16 laps of the 188 lap scheduled, at the end McMurray led from Lap 174 and held them at bay until the final lap when the caution came out ending the race on the back stretch.
The last 10 laps were ran mostly single file, no one making a significant move until Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who was running in the top five, tried to make a move on the final lap. Stenhouse Jr. came off of Turn 2 with a run, when Austin Dillon, driving the #14 Bass Pro Shops/ Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, pulled down in front of Stenhouse Jr.
Stenhouse Jr. and Dillon got together, Dillon spun coming out of Turn 2 when Casey Mears slammed into Dillon sending the #14 airborne, reminiscent of the 2012 Talladega fall race when the #14 went airborne on the last lap, ending the race with the caution coming out.
McMurray was out in front as the caution came out, coasted to the start/finish line to collect the checkered flag.
“I ran the last 20 laps, never looked at the windshield,” said Jamie McMurray. “I looked out the rear view mirror the whole time.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was poised to make his final move, which never materialized, as the caution flag came out.
“It’s all kind of a blur as to how we ended up in second, but I had no reason to make a move before the last lap being in second place,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I was in perfect position to be patient and wait as long as I wanted to. So that’s why we didn’t go any sooner…I just assumed it would go to checkered and was planning my move on the back straightaway.”
‘I knew that I had everything to lose and really one spot to gain by going early,” said Earnhardt Jr. “So I waited until the last lap. It’s frustrating because the worst part about it really is you go home and you’ll spend months thinking about what you could have done to not be second.”
Listed as the wild-card track in the Chase, a new leader emerged, for The Chase for the Sprint Cup Champion. Jimmie Johnson, who led the most laps 47 of 188 laps and finished 13th, surged to 4 points ahead of Matt Kenseth, who finished 20th, Johnson was down by 4 points coming into Talladega.
Excluding an inexplicable circumstance for either Johnson and/or Kenseth, no other driver has a reasonable hope at the title with only four races left for the 2013 season.
The next race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series is the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger, at Martinsville, Virginia, Sunday, October 27, 2013 with coverage beginning at 1:30 eastern time.