JOLIET, ILL. (July 12, 2008) – Roush Fenway Racing driver Jamie McMurray started tonight’s race at Chicagoland Speedway from the 24th position after qualifying on Friday afternoon was rained out. Early into the race, McMurray made his way into the top-12, but on lap 134 reported a tire going down. After replacing the cut right-rear tire, McMurray was shown one lap down. Through determination and a strong car, McMurray was able to gain his lap back and a handful of positions to finish 21st in tonight’s Lifelock.com 400.
Rain showers plagued qualifying on Friday afternoon, leaving the starting lineup of the race to be set by current 2008 Owner’s Points. McMurray would line up 24th for the first race under the lights at Chicagoland Speedway.
Points leader, and eventual winner of the race, Kyle Busch lead the 43 car field to the green flag. After only five laps, McMurray radioed to crew chief Larry Carter the car felt really good, and was just a little loose entering the corner.
After correcting the problem during the first pit stop, McMurray continued to gain positions on the track; moving the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion up the leaderboard. However, trouble struck the No. 26 team on lap 134, when McMurray reported a vibration coming from the rear tire. He radioed into the team that he felt like he had a tire going down.
On lap 135, McMurray came down pit road, where the team changed four tires and topped of the fuel tank before returning him to the track shown in the 38th position.
Six laps later the caution flag was displayed for debris on the race track. Carter came over the radio and told McMurray and the team they weren’t out of it yet, and they would work to get McMurray back on the lead lap.
McMurray and the No. 26 team continued to make the car faster and put themselves in a position to receive the “Lucky Dog” pass, which would put them back on the lead lap. The break came for the No. 26 team on lap 244, when the caution flag was displayed for debris on the track.
Over the course of the final 20 laps, McMurray proved he had a strong car by passing eight lead lap cars to finish the night in the 21st position. Tonights finished moved also McMurray up another position in the point standings to 22nd.
“Our No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion was very fast tonight,” said McMurray following the race. “Had we not cut a tire so early in the race, or had gotten our lap back earlier, we really had a car strong enough to finish in the top 10 at least. Chicagoland is not a place that I look forward to coming to, but the team gave me a really good car this weekend and our finish should have been a lot better than where we finished up.”
Next weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will enjoy the summer off weekend before returning the track at Indianapolis on Sunday, July 27th. The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard will be carried on both ESPN and MRN starting at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.
Allstate 400 at the Brickyard
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile speedway)
Sunday, July 27, 2008