Phoenix II: McMurray post qualifying interview

JAMIE McMURRAY - No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (qualified 2nd) ON HIS BEST QUALIFYING EFFORT OF THE SEASON. YOU HAVE TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT HOW THINGS HAVE BEEN GOING FOR YOU LATELY? "Yeah, I mean it started off so bad with actually falling out...

JAMIE McMURRAY - No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (qualified 2nd)

ON HIS BEST QUALIFYING EFFORT OF THE SEASON. YOU HAVE TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT HOW THINGS HAVE BEEN GOING FOR YOU LATELY?

"Yeah, I mean it started off so bad with actually falling out of the top 35, it's nice to get to end the season that we are. I think the guys that typically end well start next season well, so it makes racing so much more fun. It's been a really exciting week for me, getting engaged - what about that? That's pretty exciting stuff, huh? So, it's been a fun week."

DID SHE SAY YES?

"Yeah. Actually, what her words were, 'Are you kidding? Are you serious?' 'Yeah, I'm serious. What are you thinking?' So, to come here, it's cool. Qualified second here before and on like the fifth lap I had something on the grille and had to pit, and hopefully Sunday will go better."

WHERE AND HOW DID YOU PROPOSE?

"Actually, I did it at the Phoenician, at the hotel here in town. Christy and I stayed there, three and a half years I've known her, so every year we've stayed there. Did it after the race on Sunday, we got back and went and hung out and went and had dinner and went back to the room. I had it planned out, and I really didn't get nervous, but I wanted to wait another day, and I'm, like, 'I can't wait another day. I've got to do this right now.' It was cool. We've had so much fun this week. It's exciting for me because it's certainly a big deal to find someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, but to see, Christy's been glowing, that's been so cool to me to see how excited that she's been. I think she likes me."

WHAT DAY?

"Monday, November 3rd."

WHAT'S CLICKED ON FOR YOU? JUST CIRCUMSTANCE?

"I don't know. I was just talking to the engineer about that in the trailer, and our cars have been very good over the last, like, three months. We've been a lot faster the second half of the year; things just haven't worked out - whether you just got caught up in accidents, things have just clicked. There's been a little more fortune on the race track. They just have made really good adjustments to my car, and I think I've probably been a little better driver explaining what I'm feeling. When we unloaded at Texas, you kind of know the tone of your weekend when you run your first few laps, like if it drives good we can work on this or you have weekends where you think, "We'll never get this right,' and at Texas we unloaded and I thought, "This is going to be tough.' And we came into the garage and made we made a few adjustments and I pulled back out and I'm like, 'There you go. It feels great again.' So, they just have done a really good job of being pretty methodical on the adjustments, and they seem to work."

DID YOU GET ON A KNEE WHEN YOU PROPOSED?

"Yeah, I was pretty nervous. I did. Yeah, I got on my knee. Christy and I have been together for so long that it's weird when you're talking to your friend. You picture that as a child, I think, doing that, and you don't know what the person looks like, but we're sitting there, and I'm, like, 'Gosh, this is my best friend.' I kind of felt corny. Do I have to get on my knee? Because I'm certainly not Romeo, by any means, you know? Not even close."

-credit: ford racing

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup