This is McMurray’s seventh win of his career and his second win at Talladega under caution.
“I knew our Cessna Chevy was good in practice,” McMurray said. “I could just never get in the right line. At the place races you get in the right line it requires a lot of risk. I feel like I was pretty patient all day. I saw the 17 and 88 come on top. It just seemed the top was a better place to get hung out than the bottom. Fortunately, I was able to get myself in position. I don’t know how the last lap would have played out. I could see the 88 trying to set me up and figure where he could get a run on me. When I saw the caution come out behind me-I wanted to end in green, but at the same time there was a caution and I am cool it right now. It is really cool to have the University of Auburn on the hood of our car. I am really happy for McDonalds. Our cars have been so much better this year and we haven’t been able to get into victory lane. Chip (Ganassi) won the IndyCar championship yesterday so it’s been a good day. But quite honestly the best part about it for me and I told Christy, it would be so cool to be able to take our kids to victory lane. Pretty awesome.”
McMurray knew the Auburn logo and paint scheme was going to draw a mixed reaction from the Talladega fans. McMurray was able to accomplish the same feat as the Tigers as he held off Talladega favorite.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second in the race. The diver of the No.88 Mountain Dew Chevrolet said he was prepared to make a move to see if he could get his sixth win at Talladega.
“We sort of let the 1 car get out there a little bit going down the front straightaway into Turn 1 and we mashed the gas in the middle of the corner and got a run with the 14, and i was moving around a little bit to see where the 1 thought might be going and I noticed the run stopped and I looked in the mirror and guys were out of control. We didn’t get the opportunity to see what materialized. It wasn’t the best run in the world. It wasn’t what I dreamed it would be, all those last few laps. But it was a good enough run I think to get to his quarterpanel and get beside him and then we would have found out who our friends were at that point.”
Earnhardt Jr. stayed upfront the entire race. The driver of the No.88 Mountain Dew/XBOX One Chevrolet SS led 38 last, which was third behind Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson.
“I was wondering if we may have led the most,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “We had such a good car, since I have been working with Steve, we really haven’t had a good combination here and maybe I have torn up some really good cars and never got to see how good they were in races in the past. I knew in practice the car was strong. I am just wondering whether everyone was showing what they had. Once you get the whole field out there it is a little different, but our car was rocking. We were able to be aggressive. I was just trying to lead every lap of the race. I felt like that’s what I have seen be successful with this package and this car this year, if you’ve up front all the time, you tend to be there at the end when it counts, and we were.”
He hasn't won at Talladega since 2004, though he continues to be the fans favorite on the track.
"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. That's the worst part about it. Actually the process of it happening and doing it isn't that bad. You're kind of happy with being competitive and it was a good result. But you'll go back and think of a million things you could have tried different.
On the final lap with McMurray leading Austin Dillion was tapped in the back by Rickey Stenhouse Jr. which forced Dillon to go airborne to bring out the caution. With McMurray ahead at the time he was deemed the winner
NASCAR had to go to video to determine the finishing order when the caution came out. Rickey Stenhouse Jr. finished third. The Rookie of the Year candidate explained what happened in the racing ending wreck on the final lap.
“You know, I had been running half throttle there and the timing my run off 2,”Stenhouse Jr. said. “We couldn’t seem to get off a good run off of the 4, so I thought 2, coming off (lap) 2 was going to be my best place to get that done. We hung back there a little bit and we had a good run coming and when I pulled out a little bit there to go to the bottom, he pulled down to block and I tried to get back to the top as quick as I could thinking the momentum as going to carry us around the outside there, and we just met right there in the middle.”
In the battle for the Chase Championship, Jimmie Johnson finished 13th to take a four point lead over Matt Kenseth who finished 20th.