JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD'S IMPALA, met with members of the media at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and discussed going to Missouri state capital, outlook for LVMS weekend, thoughts on rest of season and other topics. TALK ABOUT HOW IT IS GOING...
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD'S IMPALA, met with members of the media at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and discussed going to Missouri state capital, outlook for LVMS weekend, thoughts on rest of season and other topics.
TALK ABOUT HOW IT IS GOING HERE AT LVMS: "It was a little bit crazy today because we think it is going to rain tomorrow, so it wasn't a normal practice. We through a lot of different stuff at the car so we would have something to try for Sunday. If it rains out tomorrow, if you do just all qualifying trim, you don't really have any idea. We worked on race trim most of practice and kind of made a partial qualifying run with about 10 minutes to go, but it wasn't really that big of an effort. So, we will have to wait and see for qualifying today. Since we didn't make a run, not sure what we are going to have in qualifying trim."
TALK ABOUT YOUR ACTIVITIES THIS WEEK IN YOUR HOME STATE OF MISSOURI AS THE DAYTONA 500 WINNER? "Going to the capital (Missouri) was a lot of fun. If you don't know, we flew into Jefferson City and Johnny Morris (Bass Pro Shops owner) got in the passenger side of the show car and we drove it from the airport to the state capital building, across the Missouri River, on the highway escorted by the highway patrol and pulled right up on the front lawn. And, we had, I don't know what the technical name for the hats, but they are Elmer Fudd hats. We wore those on the trip over. I had a suit on, this hat...it was pretty interesting and Johnny Morris actually filmed the whole thing with a camcorder in the car. We had a lot of fun. It is really cool to get to do that with your sponsor. There aren't that many sponsors that are that involved or the owners that are that involved in the race teams. That was really fun for me to get to do that with him. Going to the capital was very interesting. We found the secret passage to the Governor's office which was pretty cool. We have all been in elevators that the front door opens and the back door opens. Well this one, the side opened on and that is how you get in to the Governor's office. That was pretty exciting. We sat around with the Governor and his wife with Johnny Morris, Christy and I and just talked, just like friends. It was a lot of fun. He told us about the history of the building. It was just a fun day. Then we went in front of the House of Representatives and the Senate and accept some awards. It was a good time; it was a really good time. I had a lot of fun."
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO GET BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL? "Well, I got here at 8:00 o'clock this morning actually and went to the garage and just hung out with everybody. I have struggled a little bit to see out of the car the last few weeks, so we've raised the seat up and moved the seat forward. I struggled to reach the pedals not horrible but just trying to make the car more comfortable. They flew somebody out a day early to move the seat and put a new seat rail in it so I got here early to make sure everything was comfortable and just kind of go over everything. It has been very busy the last few weeks but it has been such positive news and such good stuff it is fun to come to the race track with all that going on."
WERE YOU WORRIED ABOUT SPONSORSHIP THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS THAT THERE WOULDN'T BE ENOUGH FUNDING TO RUN THE CAR THE FULL SEASON UNTIL YOU FINALIZED THE MCDONALD'S DEAL? "Yes, I was worried. We didn't have a full-time sponsor or the full year sold. But after winning the 500, (Tony) Glover leaned over to me in victory lane and said he thought we were pretty safe and we would be able to run the whole season. I felt pretty good about it at that point. But, yes, I won't lie to you, we didn't have all the races sold and it takes a lot of money to run a race team so yes, I was definitely concerned about exactly what was going to happen. Although, I will say, I think they felt comfortable with getting, if the McDonald's sponsorship wasn't here, I think they had enough maybe one or two race things to continue to run the whole season. I don't know a tremendous amount about that but I would be lying if I told you I wasn't worried, I worry a lot."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE MORE ATTRACTIVE TO SPONSORS WITH THE DAYTONA 500 WIN? "These sponsorship deals don't just come off of one race. It takes a long time to not only sell the sponsor but for the sponsor to go back and sell it to the board. It's not something that winning the Daytona 500 didn't just all of a sudden bring the next sponsorship to our team. They have been working very hard on that to get sponsorship sold. Although it certainly doesn't hurt to win, I mean, all sponsors want to be involved with a winner. Everybody wants to be associated with a winner. Getting the win at Talladega then five races later winning the Daytona 500, certainly, if there is any question, that makes the answering easier."
ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT GOING BACK TO A SPOILER? "When we to Charlotte and to our test, that will answer a lot of questions. I have been in a car with the current wing on it and then converted it to the spoiler on it with the extra pieces that go on the quarter panel and honestly if you didn't look out the back of the car, on single car runs, it didn't drive that much differently. I think what NASCAR's hope is that in traffic it will make the cars a little bit racier. So until we get to Charlotte and we actually get around some guys, I don't know right now. There are some unknowns. Certainly the attitude of the cars are going to look a little bit different with the spoiler versus the wing because it is going to like something different I assume."
ARE YOU TRYING TO BUILD AS MANY POINTS AS POSSIBLE IN CASE THERE ARE ISSUES IN THE CHANGE FROM WING TO SPOILER? "Building up the points wouldn't really have anything to do with the spoiler or the wing. You race for the first 26 races to get as many points as you can so you have a chance to be in the Chase. I'm not looking at it that way honestly because we are going to go Bristol and Martinsville, two kind of unknown tracks that you can have poor finishes at because of wrecks. Then we still have a couple more superspeedway races that can also result in terrible finishes. No, not that I haven't put thought into it, but until we get to Charlotte and we actually get to run the car on a big track that is real fast and see where your setups are and where you have to go, I am worried, because I worry a lot, but I mean there isn't much concern there because you don't know, there are just a lot of unknowns with that."
WHO DO YOU THINK THE FAVORITES ARE FOR SUNDAY'S RACE AND THEIR ODDS? "I don't know, I honestly don't know. I did a fantasy NASCAR league and failed miserably at it so you wouldn't want to listen to any of my advice on who to pick."
DO YOU THINK YOUR FAN BASE HAS INCREASED BECAUSE YOU HAD SUCH A GENUINE SHOW OF EMOTION IN VICTORY LANE AFTER WINNING THE DAYTONA 500? "I have had a lot of people come up to me...people say they are excited for your win...but I just can't believe the amount of people who have come up and said that they literally like jumped off their couch. Or when they saw the victory lane speech, it touched them for maybe different reasons. Maybe they lost a loved one or lots of different reasons. It has actually been very exciting to me to see the amount of No. 1 hats standing around the garage or as I walk through the casinos. They don't have that much stuff and so for people to buy that and to see that much of it, it has been really nice and very encouraging. I seem to have the "MOM" crowd now, doing good there in that area. So, I don't really think that much about the victory lane or showing emotion or passion because that was just me. I don't know, it just kind of is what it is so I didn't really put a lot of thought in to it."
HOW QUICKLY TO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO REVALIDATE YOURSELF AND NOT LOSE THE MOMENTUM OF DAYTONA AND SUFFER FATE OF MATT KENSETH LAST YEAR AND OTHER DAYTONA 500 WINNERS? "We had a pretty good car last week and for some reason we put our last set of tires on and got really tight. We came in the pits seventh and then just really faded, the car got way too tight. You have weeks like that. You have some weeks where you are running 17th with 20 to go and you get a good restart or something and you get a finish that maybe wasn't deserving, so that is just racing. Same thing, I don't think you can put a lot of thought in to things like what Matt Kenseth did last year because I lived it with him and I know a lot of the circumstances he was put in and what he was faced with. Eventually the streak has to be broken and I hope it is this year."
-source: gm racing