Semi-retired Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray will compete in the 2019 season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 17. He’ll drive the No. 40 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet, through a partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing. CGR confirmed McMurray’s entry in the race after weeks of speculation that he would drive a No. 40 car in the race.
“The Daytona 500 is the one race that every NASCAR driver would want to win,” McMurray said in a press release from Chip Ganassi Racing. "For the rest of your life you get to be introduced or recognized as a Daytona 500 Champion. I’m excited to have the opportunity to potentially be a two-time winner of the race and it would mean so much to celebrate one more win with all of the great partners that have been with me for so many years.”
McMurray won the 2010 Daytona 500 for Ganassi, which was then known as Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing. He is a seven-time winner in NASCAR’s top series. He competed in 582 races between 2002 and 2018, mostly with teams at least co-owned by Ganassi, except for a four-year stint between 2006 and 2009 when he was a Roush Fenway Racing driver.
The 2019 Daytona 500 is the only race for which McMurray is a confirmed entrant this year as he transitions into the roles of TV analyst for NASCAR on FOX and an administrative leadership position with Chip Ganassi Racing.
The 2019 season is the first in the Cup Series for Spire Motorsports. After the Daytona 500, the team’s car will carry the No. 77. McMurray drove the No. 40 in his first six Cup Series races as a substitute for the injured Sterling Marlin. He won in his second race as Marlin’s fill-in at Charlotte Motor Speedway, setting a record for the quickest win for a driver in NASCAR’s modern era.
Spire Motorsports has not announced a driver for any races beyond the Daytona 500.