Daytona 500: McMurray, Carter - Ford Saturday interview

Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing, is scheduled to start 24th in Sunday's Daytona 500. This will mark his first race with crew chief Larry Carter, who joined the team shortly before ...

Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing, is scheduled to start 24th in Sunday's Daytona 500. This will mark his first race with crew chief Larry Carter, who joined the team shortly before Christmas. McMurray and Carter spoke about how Speedweeks has gone to this point and their thoughts on tomorrow's race.

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LARRY CARTER, Crew Chief -- No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion

THERE HAVE BEEN OTHER ISSUES OVERSHADOWING SPEEDWEEKS, BUT ARE YOU HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU'VE DONE SO FAR? "Yeah, we don't mind laying low. We started out pretty tight and weren't very competitive, especially in the Thursday race, but I think we've made some gains and gotten a little better. If that will hold up today in practice, we should have a competitive car for Sunday."

HOW ARE YOU ADJUSTING TO ROUSH FENWAY RACING? "They're going good. There's not a lot of difference. I kind of have enjoyed the fact that we actually have some teammates that we can work with. You get a lot of input from the other guys and kind of know you're on the same page, so that helps a lot. The things that I'm missing or not doing right, they tell me and that's cool because then I just adjust, but it's going good so far."

THURSDAY WAS A CHANCE TO WORK ON COMMUNICATION IN RACE CONDITIONS. HOW DID THAT GO? "Jamie is real easy to work with. So far he hasn't gotten real excited, but I'm sure he probably will and that will be OK. I think our communication has been pretty good right off the bat and we just want to keep trying to give him good race cars. If we can do that, then he can go out and win some races for us."

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JAMIE MCMURRAY -- No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion

DO YOU FEEL PRETTY GOOD GOING INTO THE RACE TOMORROW? "Yeah, it's the same car that we raced in three of the four plate races last year and we finished in the top 10 in three of the four, and got crashed in the second Talladega race. It's a really good car and when we tested with it over the winter, it was actually faster, I thought, by itself than what it had been in the past. We didn't qualify very well and we're not really 100 percent sure why we didn't qualify better than we did. In the 150, the car had a tremendous amount of speed, the car just didn't want to turn -- it was really, really tight. So we went over and actually borrowed the setup from the 17 car and practiced with that yesterday and the car drove great. It might be one of the better speedway cars I've ever had, so I feel really good about it because it's got a lot of speed."

THE MAJOR GOAL OF THE TWIN RACE IS TO GET THE CAR BACK IN ONE PIECE AND YOU DID THAT. "Yeah, I wanted to win on Thursday. Everyone wants to win that race, but it was certainly good for us. If that would have been the 500, we would have struggled because we had to change a lot of things to make our car better. It was certainly a good race for us and it was nice to get the new pit crew, driver and crew chief a chance to work together in a race that doesn't quite have so much on the line compared to the 500."

LAST YEAR BUMP DRAFTING WAS A MAJOR ISSUE AND THIS YEAR IT SEEMS MUCH CALMER AS FAR AS ON-TRACK RACING. WOULD YOU AGREE? "Yeah, I think the Daytona 500 will be a different deal, especially with 15 or 20 laps to go. It will get wild again."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jamie McMurray
Teams Roush Fenway Racing