FORT WORTH, Texas (NOVEMBER 1, 2008) - Misfortune struck early tonight for Roush Fenway Racing driver Jamie McMurray and his No. 17 CitiFinancial team. After qualifying 11th for this afternoon's 200-lap race at Texas Motor Speedway, the No. 17 team looked poised for another good run at the 1.5-mile speedway. However, when McMurray was clipped in the right-front fender on lap 11 the team was forced to make several pit stops and a visit to the garage. When the checkered flag finally flew, the No. 17 team was left with a disappointing 35th-place finish.
After a string of good runs by McMurray and the No. 17 CitiFinancial team over the last several weeks, the team looked forward to their run at Texas. After two solid practices on Friday morning and posting the 11th fastest time in qualifying on Friday evening, the team looked forward to Saturday afternoon.
Pole winner and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards led the 43-car field to the green flag. Just 11 laps into the event, as the field exited turn four, McMurray was clipped in the right-front fender by the No. 38 while he attempting to pass the No. 17. McMurray immediately asked his spotter and crew chief to assess the damage. After a number of laps, McMurray reported the handling of the car was becoming very tight.
The first caution of the day was displayed on lap 49. During the caution period, the No. 17 team made two pit stops to fix the damage on McMurray's machine. After restarting in the 22nd position, McMurray quickly worked his way back into the top-15.
Trouble struck again for the No. 17 team on lap 134, when McMurray reported a horrible vibration coming from the car. The team made one pit stop to change tires and sent McMurray back on his way. However, after the problem continued, McMurray pulled the No. 17 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion into the garage for further service.
After service in the garage, the No. 17 team returned to the speedway in the 35th position. With only a few laps remaining in the event, the McMurray and the team rode out the rest of the race, but were unable to pick up any additional positions.
"I thought we had a great car going into the race this afternoon," said McMurray following the race. "After the No. 38 got into us, we didn't have the best handling, but we were able to maintain. I guess late in the race, a piece of tape got caught in the tire, which created the vibration. It's was a tough day for the No. 17 CitiFinancial team because I know how good our car was going to race. We still have two more races left, so we'll focus on those."
Next weekend, the No. 17 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion returns to the track at Phoenix International Raceway.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup 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; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.