Jamie McMurray and the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion Racing Team
Daytona International Speedway/February 9, 2008
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (February 9, 2008) – After securing a spot in the 2008 Budweiser Shootout by winning the pole at Infineon Raceway in June 2007, Jamie McMurray and the No. 26 Crown Royal team knew the extra track time would play in their favor. What they did not know is their night would end early after McMurray was caught in an accident exiting turn four on lap 24 of 70. McMurray finished 22nd in his third career Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.
Sporting a new special paint scheme this weekend, the No. 26 Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Ford Fusion earned a fourth-place starting spot after McMurray drew the top-five starting position on Thursday evening. After two practices on Friday evening, McMurray and the team were ready for the 70-lap shootout.
The format of the Shootout is broken into two segments. The first segment consists of 20 laps, followed by a 10-minute break, and finishing with a 50-lap run to the end.
During the first segment, McMurray was able to maintain his top-five position for most of the segment. A brief scare came when McMurray exited turn four on lap 16 and was clipped from behind by another car. The No. 26 Crown Royal Ford was completely sideways exiting the turn, but after a great heads-up move by McMurray, it was back in line by the time the line of cars exited the turn.
The caution flag came out on 17 for an accident in turn one. The field rode around under caution until the break on lap 20. During the 10-minute break, McMurray and crew chief Larry Carter made a few handling changes to the car, as well as changing four tires and adding two new cans of fuel. Following the 10-minute break, McMurray was back on the track running in the fifth position.
Just three laps back into the event, McMurray was exiting turn four when his car went up the race track and made contact with the No. 11 machine. The contact sent McMurray’s Ford Fusion careening into the outside wall and left the No. 26 team with no choice but to pull the car behind the wall and call it a night.
“I’m not real sure what happened,” said McMurray following the race. “Someone got on the outside of me and I didn’t know anyone was up there and we came off the corner and when I moved up there was someone there. It just tore up a pretty good car. It was a lot faster than I expected it to be tonight. I didn’t feel very good about practice, but they made some changes and it ran pretty good in the race. I just made a mistake there. Hopefully we’ll have a good qualifying effort tomorrow with our No. 26 Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Ford Fusion and have a good race on Thursday in the Duels.”
After a short-lived night the No. 26 Crown Royal team will prepare for qualifying for the Duels, which ultimately sets the field for Sunday’s Daytona 500. Qualifying for the Duels will take place on Sunday, Feb. 10th at 1:00pm.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating 13 motorsports teams. Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun and Joey Clanton; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
About Crown Royal
Crown Royal, the number one selling whisky in the U.S. by value, has a tradition as long and distinctive as its taste. Specially blended to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939, Crown Royal's smooth, elegant style reflects its aristocratic origins and is considered the epitome of Canadian whisky. For more information on Crown Royal, visit www.crownroyal.com.