A victory in the Daytona 500 by Derrike Cope, Jamie McMurray or David Ragan could make one of them the third driver in the history of NASCAR’s premier series to win in their final career start.
Cope, McMurray and Ragan are set to make their final confirmed Cup Series starts at Daytona International Speedway Sunday (Feb. 14) in the 63rd annual Daytona 500.
Cope, the 1990 Daytona 500 winner, is competing in his first Cup Series race since September 2018 and first Great American Race since 2004.
Cope will pilot the No. 15 Chevrolet for Rick Ware Racing and will start the race 32nd.
McMurray, the 2010 Daytona 500 winner and seven-time Cup Series winner, returns to the Cup Series after a two-year absence.
The 43-year-old driver is piloting the No. 77 Spire Motorsports entry. He will start the race in 19th place.
Ragan qualified for the Daytona 500 by his speed in qualifying Wednesday and will be driving in his 15th consecutive season opener.
“The only race I have scheduled at the moment is here at the Daytona 500,” Ragan said. “I love racing. I’d love to run a few truck races this year if the schedule works out.”
Ragan will pilot the No. 36 Ford for Front Row Motorsports from the 18th starting position, sharing Row 9 with teammate Michael McDowell.
Marvin Burke and Chuck Stevenson are the only drivers to win in their final Cup Series race, according to research across two racing databases.
Burke became the first driver to do so, winning in his lone start at Oakland Stadium in Oakland, California in October of 1951.
Stevenson won his only race in his second and final series start at Willow Springs Speedway in Lancaster, California in November of 1955.
Television coverage of the 2021 Daytona 500 is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 14 on FOX.
I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.