CONCORD, N.C. (October 11, 2008) – Jamie McMurray capped off a great weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Saturday night with his season-best finish of the 2008 season. After taking the pole in Friday night’s Nationwide race and finishing in the top-10, McMurray finished fifth on Saturday night at the 1.5-mile “hometown” speedway in the Bank of America 500.
After opening practice and qualifying were both rained out on Thursday afternoon, qualifying was set by current 2008 Sprint Cup owner points. The No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion would start Saturday night’s race from the 21st position.
On Friday evening, McMurray collected his second pole of the season in the Nationwide race and went on to finish top-10. McMurray hoped the success would transfer over into the 334-lap race on Saturday night.
Taking the start from the 21st position, McMurray quickly made his way through the field, finding himself in the 13th position when the first caution flag of the evening was displayed on lap 43. After a quick stop in the pits for four tires and fuel, McMurray returned to the speedway scored in the 12th position.
On the ensuing restart, McMurray again worked his way through the field, this time making it up to the 10th position before the second caution was displayed on lap 53 for a wreck on the backstretch. During the caution the No. 26 Crown Royal team opted to remain on the speedway and not pit. However, just two laps before retaking the green flag, McMurray felt a tire going down. Crew chief Larry Carter called McMurray down pit road for four new tires. After a stop in the pits, McMurray found himself scored in the 33rd position.
After the restart Carter came over the radio and told McMurray to hang in there, that he had a top-five car if he could take care of his equipment.
McMurray and the No. 26 Crown Royal showed their will and determination to get back into contention. Lap after lap, McMurray continued to climb the leaderboard. After 100 laps, McMurray had worked his way back up to the 12th position.
McMurray and crew chief Carter continued to work and adjust on the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion and were able to again race their way into the top 10. After a final pit stop on lap 297, Carter told McMurray he was good to go for the rest of the race and to go out there and get a good finish.
McMurray restarted in the sixth position and with just 33 laps remaining in the race, McMurray knew a top-five finish was in his sights. With 10 laps left, McMurray worked his way to the bumper of the No. 48 machine, and as the two drove into turns one and two, McMurray dove low and was able to pass Jimmie Johnson for the fifth position. When the checkered flag was displayed for race winner Jeff Burton, the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion crossed the line in the fifth position.
“Larry and the guys made really good decisions on the adjustments to the car and it was just a good night for the Crown Royal Ford Fusion,” said McMurray following the race. “It’s the same thing every week, track position is just so critical. We had a really good tire here. The tire would give up a little bit and stickers were a little bit better. In testing it wasn’t really that way, but our car was not good on two tires. I didn’t think it was very good when we would just scuff them and run 10 laps, so they made the right decision on coming in and putting four tires on there at the end and we actually had a little bit of track position with that, so it ended up good. Really, for the last three months we’ve had great race cars. Everyone at Roush Fenway runs well. I mean all of my teammates run well every single week and we haven’t been able to put our finishes together, but we’ve had a lot of speed in our car, so I think to sit on the pole in the Nationwide race and then have a top-five in the Cup race, it’s gonna make for a wonderful Sunday off.”
This Monday, McMurray will tee up in the Third Annual Jamie McMurray Foundation golf tournament. After a day on the course, McMurray will prepare for a full weekend at Martinsville Speedway. McMurray will run both the Cup race, as well the Truck race. McMurray’s last start in the Truck Series came in 2004 where he won at Martinsville Speedway.
Tums QuikPak 500
Martinsville Speedway (.566-mile speedway)
October 19, 2008
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.