RICHMOND, Va. (May 3, 2008) – On lap 362 in tonight’s Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400, the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion had its night ended early, after being pushed up the race track by another car and suffering race-ending damage after making hard contact with the outside retaining wall. Roush Fenway Racing driver Jamie McMurray and the No. 26 team were forced to stomach a 35th-place finish in tonight race at Richmond International Raceway.
After qualifying 20th for Saturday night’s race on Friday afternoon, McMurray and the team knew they had a good Ford Fusion for the Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400. Prior to the start of the race, crew chief Larry Carter and McMurray knew that with some patience in tonight’s race, and smart adjustments would help them work their way through the field.
Before a sellout crowd of 112,000 fans, Dan Lowry, winner of Crown Royal’s “Your Name Here” sweepstakes, instructed 43 drivers to start their engines. The action got underway as the sun set over Richmond, Va.
McMurray took the green flag from the 20th position, and quickly moved down to the preferred lower line on the track. After a handful of laps, McMurray noted to crew chief Carter that the car was very loose both in and off the corners. During the first pit stop on lap 67, Carter called for an air pressure and wedge adjustment, as well as four tires and fuel for the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion.
Over the course of the next run, McMurray noted the car was still very loose, and felt he needed additional changes to his machine. On lap 123, McMurray was lapped by race leader, Denny Hamlin, but quickly returned to the lead lap as the caution came on lap 127 for debris in turn two. McMurray was rewarded the “Lucky Dog” award, which allowed him to pass the pace car and return to the lead lap. During the caution period, the No. 26 team made additional changes to their Ford Fusion in hopes of tightening up McMurray’s machine.
The additional changes helped McMurray, who was running lap times of those of the leader, and slowly began working his way up through the field.
On lap 230, a wreck occurred in front of McMurray, who through two “heads-up” maneuvers was able to avoid the accident. After the ensuing restart, McMurray passed two cars and found himself the top 10.
With the end of the race in sight, and securely in the top-15, McMurray had his evening cut short, as he entered turn three. The No. 78 machine hit McMurray from behind, which sent him spinning up the race track and into the outside wall. After a brief stop on pit road, Carter told the team to load the car up, as their night was over. The accident left the No. 26 team with a disappointing 35th-place finish in tonight’s race at Richmond International Raceway.
“What a horrible way to end to this weekend,” said McMurray. “Throughout the race we kept improving on our car, and had raced our way into the top-10. I don’t know what happen there at the end, I think I was dumped by the No. 78 car, but don’t know for sure. I do know that was not the way we wanted to end the weekend for Crown Royal. I don’t know if we had the strongest car out there, but we did have one capable of finishing a lot better than where we did tonight. It’s really unfortunate for the entire Crown Royal team”
The No. 26 Crown Royal team use this week to prepare for the upcoming Darlington race next Saturday night. Also on the schedule for this week is two-day test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in preparation for the upcoming Sprint All-Star race, as well as the Coca-Cola 600 race later in May.
Dodge Challenger 500
Darlington Raceway (1.36-mile speedway)
Saturday, May 10, 2008
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, Kvapil, John Wes Townley and Bobby East; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.