Elite company: McMurray joins Andretti, Foyt as Rolex 24 and Daytona 500 winners
When NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Jamie McMurray joined his Chip Ganassi Racing teammates in Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, he did so as a first-time winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
However, that was not the only accolade McMurray was able to hang his hat on at the end of the 24-hour endurance race. By helping teammates Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, and Kyle Larson secure the victory, McMurray became only the third driver in history to win both the Rolex 24 and the Daytona 500.
By accomplishing the feat, McMurray joined the likes of racing icons A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti.
It is an honor to be mentioned in this group of drivers. pic.twitter.com/awnImWF1yP
— Jamie McMurray (@jamiemcmurray) January 25, 2015
"It’s pretty unbelievable," said McMurray. "Getting to come down and have the opportunity to run this race for Chip and Felix (Sabates) knowing you have the chance to win it every year you’re down here, that makes you want to come do it. And to get to be in this group with Mario and A.J. is quite a feeling."
Although he ran only 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races throughout his illustrious career, Andretti scored his lone NASCAR victory by taking the 1967 Daytona 500 over Fred Lorenzen.
Andretti’s lone win in the annual Daytona endurance race came in 1972 with teammate Jacky Ickx. However, that year, the race was shortened to just six hours due to the energy crisis griping the nation.
Foyt, on the other hand, is a two-time winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, earning victories in 1983 and 1985 while driving for Henn’s Swap Shop Racing. His lone win in the Daytona 500 came in 1972, driving for Wood Brothers Racing and beating Charlie Glotzbach by a full lap.
For McMurray, the Rolex 24 at Daytona is another feather in his cap that includes big wins in the 2010 Daytona 500, 2010 Brickyard 400, 2010 Bank of America 500 and 2014 Sprint All-Star Race.
Each of McMurray’s marquee victories have come with team owners Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates, something the Joplin, Missouri, native takes to heart.
"I told Chip after the race is over, we have got to share some of the most special memories of my life," said McMurray. "Some of the greatest days, with the exception of getting married and having kids, I’ve shared with Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates. It’s been great. Gatorade Victory Lane in Daytona has been special for us, with the Daytona 500. This is a big deal for me because these cars are so different than the car I typically drive … It’s really special. I’m glad I got to be with this group."
VIDEO: McMurray becomes third driver to win Rolex 24 and Daytona 500