There has been speculation since it was announced that Chip Ganassi Racing was replacing Jamie McMurray with Kurt Busch in the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in 2019, that McMurray would probably find a ride for the Daytona 500 before calling it a career.
Friday, Spire Sports and Entertainment announced that they will field a No. 40 Chevrolet for McMurray in the season-opening race through a partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing.
— Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) January 18, 2019
“The Daytona 500 is the one race that every NASCAR driver would want to win. 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 said in a press release.
The ride will be sponsored by McDonald’s, Bass Pro Shops and Cessna — all long-time partners of McMurray.
After the Daytona 500, Spire Sports, which owns the charter previously held by Furniture Row Racing, will transition to fielding the No. 77 car. However, a full-time driver for that car has yet to be announced.
McMurray, 42, is a seven-time winner at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series level. The Joplin, Missouri product burst onto the scene in relief of an injured Sterling Marlin in 2002.
In just his second-career Cup Series start, McMurray captured the victory in the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
In the 16 year’s since, McMurray has gone on to win the Daytona 500 (2010), Brickyard 400 (2010) and the All-Star Race (2014).
Although he has yet to announce that the Daytona 500 will be his final NASCAR start, McMurray signed a deal in the offseason to be an in studio analyst for Fox Sports in 2019, signaling that his career behind the wheel could be concluding.