Homestead: Jamie McMurray race report

McMurray finds restart costly in season finale at Homestead. MOORESVILLE, N.C., (November 18, 2002) --- Jamie McMurray found that restarts can be costly as he was penalized for jumping a restart early in the Ford 400 yesterday at the ...

McMurray finds restart costly in season finale at Homestead.

MOORESVILLE, N.C., (November 18, 2002) --- Jamie McMurray found that restarts can be costly as he was penalized for jumping a restart early in the Ford 400 yesterday at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. McMurray and the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge team finished the event in the 22nd position.

"I guess you can just chalk that up to a rookie mistake," McMurray said. "I thought I did everything right, and had to swerve to avoid causing a wreck. I think someone in front of us checked up and it created a chain reaction. In NASCAR's eyes we jumped the restart, so all you can do is learn from your mistakes."

"I hate if for the guys on this team because we had a really good car and I think we could have definitely finished in the top 10," McMurray added.

After starting the Ford 400 from the 14th position, McMurray's day got off on the wrong foot when the caution flag waved on lap two. On the restart, the leaders checked up, forcing McMurray to swerve to the left to avoid causing a wreck. McMurray was black-flagged the following lap for jumping the restart.

McMurray headed the orders and brought his No. 40 Coors Light Dodge to the attention of the crew for a stop-and-go penalty. McMurray lost valuable track position and was quickly passed by the leaders and went a lap down.

The remainder of the day would be a game of catch up as the Coors Light Dodge proved to be one of the fastest cars on the speedway, but the team could never catch the break they needed to get McMurray back on the lead lap.

McMurray's stint as driver of the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge came to a close with the conclusion of the Ford 400, as McMurray prepares for his rookie campaign behind the wheel of the Havoline Dodge next season for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

In McMurray's six Winston Cup starts this season, he scored one victory (Charlotte 10/2), one top-five, two top-10 and three top-15 finishes. McMurray set a new modern NASCAR record by becoming the quickest driver to win a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race. McMurray won in only his second start.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jamie McMurray , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates