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Season Rewind: 2010 Brickyard 400

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published July 28, 2010.

Jamie McMurray stunned the NASCAR Sprint Cup field by winning the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (John Harrelson/Getty Images Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS — Jamie McMurray won the Brickyard 400 with a late-race pass of Kevin Harvick and in the process gave team owner Chip Ganassi an historic triple.

McMurray won the Daytona 500 to open the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and claimed NASCAR’s two biggest races with his victory Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ganassi driver Dario Franchitti won the Indianapolis 500 in May.

“It’s unbelievable,” an excited McMurray said moments before being bear-hugged by Ganassi and Bass Pro Shops’ Johnny Morris. “I thought it was over when Kevin (Harvick) passed me because my car got really tight. But he gave me the outside and that was what my car better at the end.”

McMurray sailed past Harvick on the final restart of the day with 18 laps remaining and led to the finish.

The victory put McMurray into some exalted company. He joins Dale Jarrett (1996) and Jimmie Johnson (2006) as the only drivers to win the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same year.

McMurray’s teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya, led 86 laps and had the best car of the day until the final pit stop on lap 139. Montoya came in with the lead, took four tires and left seventh, as the top six took right-side tires only.

In a near replay of last year’s Brickyard race, Montoya was stuck back in traffic and couldn’t advance. He dropped back to 10th and was trying to get a charge to the front together when he got high in turn four and bounced off the wall.

Jamie McMurray poses with the Brickyard 400 trophy at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Dan Helrigel/IndyCar Photo)

He collected Dale Earnhardt, Jr. on the way off the wall and was out of the race. He had no comment after the race ended. He finished 32nd.

Earnhardt was in a position to see what happened to Montoya.

“I guess he was in the fence,” he said, “and when he came off the wall, I guess he wanted to go in the pits. “I was under [Marcos Ambrose] and couldn’t miss him.”

McMurray was convinced that Montoya was fated to win the race.

“When Juan was leading and I was running second, I thought it was fate,” the winner said. “I won the Daytona 500, Dario won the Indy 500 and I thought that Juan was going to win here.

“I really thought this was his day, but in these things, you never give up.”

Ganassi credited a share of the victory to Montoya’s team, which took four tires on the final stop and wound up stuck in traffic. McMurray and crew chief Kevin Manion went for track position with two tires and went to victory lane.

“That was the call,” Ganassi said. “The only reason we could do that was because the 42 (Montoya) was going for four. As a team we sort of had both strategies covered there, I guess.

“This was a win for the team.”

On a day when Johnson was a non-factor and the race began with a seven-car crash in turn two, McMurray bided his time and ran with his teammate at the front until first assuming the lead on lap 140.

Jamie McMurray (1) battles Kevin Harvick for the lead during the Brickyard 400. (Don Figler Photo)

Harvick passed him and led the next five laps before McMurray got back around on lap 150.

Behind McMurray and Harvick came Ford driver Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer and two-time Brickyard winner Tony Stewart. Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Kurt Busch filled the top 10.

Harvick extended his point lead to 184 over Jeff Gordon. McMurray advanced two spots to 16th and is 151 out of The Chase with six races to go.

Posted by on Jan 1 2011 Filed under Latest Headlines, NASCAR, Sprint Cup, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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