Advertisement
2007 daytona 500 YouTube Screenshot
YouTube Screenshot

On February 14, the long-awaited kickoff to the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season will finally be here with the Daytona 500. Commonly referred to as “The Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing,” the inaugural race at Daytona International Speedway has a history of high-octane excitement.

There have been countless epic runnings of the Daytona 500 over the years, and while this year’s race should no doubt deliver, the 2007 Daytona 500 will be hard to top. At least when it comes to controversial finishes.

Unfortunately for NASCAR legend Mark Martin — once described by ESPN as “the best driver to never win a championship” — he was on the losing end of the aforementioned controversial finish. In his 23rd running of The Great American Race, Martin had previously raced to seven top-7 finishes at Daytona. So close, yet so far time and time again.

While Martin dealt with his fair share of disappointment at Daytona Beach, his ultimate heartbreak came in 2007.

Read More: Tony Stewart Talks About the 40-Year-Old Promise That Fueled His Retirement

The Controversial Finish at the 2007 Daytona 500

Following a number of caution flags throughout the race that forced the likes of Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to bow out early, Martin ended up being race’s late leader and looked to be well on his way to his first Daytona 500 win.

However, on the last lap, Kevin Harvick made a late surge, putting him neck-and-neck with Martin. As Kyle Busch attempted to pass them, he got loose and spun out, and it started a chain reaction that caused a host of other drivers to wreck.

Clint Bowyer flipped and skidded across the finish line on his roof, while Jeff Gordon also wrecked. It was complete chaos.

Advertisement

Surprisingly, the caution flag didn’t come out, and Harvick just edged out Martin’s No. 1 Chevrolet to the finish line by .002 seconds for what would be Harvick’s first Daytona 500 win.

Many felt that there should have been a caution flag, which might’ve helped Martin overcome Harvick’s late race-winning surge. For context, what went down at the 2007 Daytona 500 marked the closest finish since the first-ever Daytona 500 in 1959, when it took NASCAR officials THREE DAYS to finally declare Lee Petty the winner.

As for Martin, he raced at six more Daytona 500s, but he was never able to see the checkered flag. He would finish third in his final appearance at Daytona in 2012.

2007 Daytona 500 Race Results

1. Kevin Harvick — Richard Childress Racing — No. 29 Chevrolet
2. Mark Martin — Ginn Racing — No. 01 Chevrolet
3. Jeff Burton — Richard Childress Racing — No. 31 Chevrolet
4. Mike Wallace — Phoenix Racing — No. 09 Chevrolet
5. David Ragan — Roush Racing — No. 6 Ford
6. Elliott Sadler — Evernham Motorsports — No. 19 Dodge
7. Kasey Kahne — Evernham Motorsports — No. 9 Dodge
8. David Gilliland — Robert Yates Racing — No. 38 Ford
9. Joe Nemechek — Ginn Racing — No. 13 Chevrolet
10. Jeff Gordon — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 24 Chevrolet
11. David Stremme — Chip Ganassi Racing — No. 40 Dodge
12. J. J. Yeley — Joe Gibbs Racing — No. 18 Chevrolet
13. Reed Sorenson — Chip Ganassi Racing — No. 41 Dodge
14. Boris Said — No Fear Racing — No. 60 Ford
15. Robby Gordon — Robby Gordon Motorsports — No. 7 Ford
16. Johnny Sauter — Haas CNC Racing — No. 70 Chevrolet
17. Sterling Marlin — Ginn Racing — No. 14 Chevrolet
18. Clint Bowyer — Richard Childress Racing — No. 07 Chevrolet
19. Juan Pablo Montoya — Chip Ganassi Racing — No. 42 Dodge
20. Casey Mears — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 25 Chevrolet
21. Bobby Labonte — Petty Enterprises — No. 43 Dodge
22. Dale Jarrett — Michael Waltrip Racing — No. 44 Toyota
23. Carl Edwards — Roush Racing — No. 99 Ford
24. Kyle Busch — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 5 Chevrolet
25. Greg Biffle — Roush Racing — No. 16 Ford
26. Ricky Rudd — Robert Yates Racing — No. 88 Ford
27. Matt Kenseth — Roush Racing — No. 17 Ford
28. Denny Hamlin — Joe Gibbs Racing — No. 11 Chevrolet
29. Martin Truex Jr. — Dale Earnhardt, Inc. — No. 1 Chevrolet
30. Michael Waltrip — Michael Waltrip Racing — No. 55 Toyota
31. Jamie McMurray — Roush Racing — No. 26 Ford
32. Dale Earnhardt Jr. — Dale Earnhardt, Inc. — No. 8 Chevrolet
33. Tony Raines — Hall of Fame Racing — No. 96 Chevrolet
34. Dave Blaney — Bill Davis Racing — No. 22 Toyota
35. Ken Schrader — Wood Brothers Racing — No. 21 Ford
36. Jeff Green — Haas CNC Racing — No. 66 Chevrolet
37. Scott Riggs — Evernham Motorsports — No. 10 Dodge
38. Ryan Newman — Penske Racing — No. 12 Dodge 175 1 Engine
39. Jimmie Johnson — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 48 Chevrolet
40. David Reutimann — Michael Waltrip Racing — No. 00 Toyota
41. Kurt Busch — Penske Racing — No. 2 Dodge
42. Kyle Petty — Petty Enterprises — No. 45 Dodge
43. Tony Stewart — Joe Gibbs Racing — No. 20 Chevrolet

Advertisement

WATCH: NASCAR Legends Steal the Show in Classic “Stroker Ace” Scene

Author placeholder image About the author:

Stories You Might Like