Chicagoland: McMurray - Ford Friday interview

Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion, snapped a 166-race winless drought with his victory at Daytona last Saturday night. The win also moved him into 13th place in the standings, just 49 points out of the final Chase ...

Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion, snapped a 166-race winless drought with his victory at Daytona last Saturday night. The win also moved him into 13th place in the standings, just 49 points out of the final Chase position.

JAMIE McMURRAY -- No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion

HOW'S YOUR WEEK BEEN? "It's been really busy. I told Matt that I didn't mind doing all the call-ins and everything, because everything's been positive, and it's fun to talk about a win, and the way that we were able to win -- it was so close. It was a pretty exciting finish, and it's been real cool to talk about."

HAS THE END OF THAT 166-RACE WINLESS DROUGHT SUNK IN YET? "Yeah. I didn't think a lot about that before and I haven't really thought about it afterwards. We came close to winning a couple of races this year, and everyone has that throughout their career where you come close and just different circumstances would've put you in victory lane. So, I haven't thought about that a lot, but it is certainly nice to get that over with so I don't have to talk about it with all of you."

ROUSH FENWAY RACING HAS WON TWO OF THE LAST FOUR RACES -- AND IF THE 42 RUNS OUT OF GAS AT SONOMA AND NOT YOU, AND CARL EDWARDS DOESN'T HAVE HIS PROBLEM AT NEW HAMPSHIRE, IT COULD'VE BEEN FOUR STRAIGHT WINS FOR ROUSH FENWAY. DO YOU FEEL A ROUSH RESURGENCE? "Well, we've been really strong at the last four races. Jack's put a lot of emphasis on getting our car of tomorrow program stronger, and at Loudon and Sonoma, both Carl and I had a chance to win the race. So, I think that shows we're heading in the right direction. Our mile-and-a-half program has always been strong -- even when thing weren't great last year, or even this year, the mile-and-a-half program's strong. So, if we can get our car of tomorrow program just a little bit better, I feel like we'll have everything down."

EVERYTHING IS CYCLICAL IN NASCAR. COULD THIS BE THE START OF A ROUSH FENWAY STREAK, SIMILAR TO WHAT HENDRICK HAD EARLIER IN THE YEAR? "I hope so. For the last month we've been strong and a contender to win, and that's all you can ask for. If it's your day, then it is, and if it's not, then there's not anything you can do about it. Roush Racing, as a whole, has been really strong the last month."

YOU GOT SOME HELP FROM SOME TEAMMATES AT THE END OF LAST SATURDAY'S RACE. THAT WASN'T THE CASE WITH OTHER TEAMS. WHAT ARE THE RULES WHEN WORKING WITH A TEAMMATE? "Typically, every time you leave a speedway you're usually disappointed with somebody because they didn't help you, or they did what was best for them. When it works out for you it's great. I know Jack's been really proud this week, and John Henry called me last night and told me how cool it was to see all of the Roush cars lined up on the outside row. He's like, 'Yeah, you couldn't ask for a better sight at Daytona than to have everybody working together.' It just worked out for us there, that Carl and Matt and Greg and David were able to get in the same line as me, and that they didn't get split and hung out. It's hard to do it at a speedway race, to make that happen. It was really nice that we were all able to work together and it worked out for us."

IT MUST'VE BEEN DIFFICULT FOR YOU, WONDERING WHEN THE WINLESS STREAK WAS GOING TO END. "When I look back through 2003, '04, '05 -- '06, '07, all the years -- there were a lot of opportunities that we came close to winning: the Brickyard, one year; Rockingham; Texas, we ran second. And certainly it's disappointing. You can't dwell on that. As long as you show up and you feel like you're a contender -- if you didn't win -- you have to look at the bright side of that. If a guy sits back and worries to death about not winning, he's not focused on trying to win. I know it's a big deal to all you guys, but I didn't make a lot of that, because there's nothing you can do about it."

WAS YOUR TEAM AS OPTIMISTIC AS YOU? "At Talladega, if the caution comes out one second before it did, we end up winning the race and the 24 car finishes second. But, he just passed me the scoring loop before that and they threw the caution. So. I don't know. We've run well at a few races this year. For the most part, the guys on the team feel really good about it, and Larry Carter is the key to that because he's a good motivator and he's always got the same demeanor and the same attitude. He's never really up and he's never really down, and I think that makes it easier for the guys on the team to have those same emotions, because he's our leader and everybody looks to him for the way that he feels and the way that he's acting, and if he's got a good attitude, it seems to go on throughout the team."

WHY THE RECENT ROUSH RESURGENCE? "I think a lot of that has to do with just the teams getting stronger. Carl and Bob [Osborne] got put back together this year, so you're not going to have just immediate success. And then Larry and I working together; David's been brand new. And then Matt won the third race out, so I just think the teams working together better, and our car of tomorrow program getting stronger. And, just like any other team, our engineering department, and the test team is working hard to make our cars better. The guys that are hanging bodies at the shop keep coming up with better ideas. It doesn't take a whole lot to make your car go from a 10th-place car to a winning car; it's pretty small changes. So, they've done a lot work. Each week, when we ship to the track, we have a set of shocks built up that the computer program says is going to be good, and about eight times out of 10 those seem to be better."

SO, THE SEVEN-POST SHAKER IS HELPING? "Yeah. We have learned a lot from that. And when you show up and you look at what they came up with, sometimes it doesn't make sense because it's not something that's normal or something you would say, 'Oh, okay, that sounds good.' At Sonoma, that whole set-up was based on, not only Boris' feedback, but that was computer generated. The sport's changed, and I think that Roush Racing was maybe a little bit behind, but we've done a really good job with catching up and doing as good a job, if not better, than other teams."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jamie McMurray