Richmond II: Jamie McMurray preview

Texaco/Havoline Racing Fast Facts: * Chassis ...

Texaco/Havoline Racing Fast Facts:

* Chassis #406: Crew Chief Donnie Wingo and the Texaco/Havoline team are bringing chassis #406 to compete in the Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. This is the same car McMurray ran in Richmond back in May and the same car he finished seventh with at Martinsville Speedway back in the spring.

* The Chase is On: McMurray heads into Richmond sitting 11th in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points, but is only 25 points out of the NASCAR Top 10 and the Chase for the Championship. The Joplin, Mo. native has posted six top-five and 14 top-10 finishes through the first 25 races of the 2004 season. McMurray heads into Richmond coming off a strong fourth-place finish last weekend at California Speedway. McMurray has posted four top-10 finishes in the last five races.

* Double Duty: McMurray will be pulling double duty this weekend in Richmond as he will pilot the No. 2 Dodge in Thursday night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race before climbing behind the wheel of the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge for Saturday night's Rock & Roll 400.

Jamie McMurray Quotes:

What is your outlook heading into this weekend's race in Richmond?

"I feel pretty good about our chances of getting into the Top 10 and being part of the Chase for the Championship. We're taking the same car we ran at Richmond back in the spring and had a strong run going until we were caught up in a wreck with Joe Nemechek. That's the thing about Richmond, it's a short track and you can be caught up in someone else's mess and have your night end early. The points are so tight between eighth and 15th place that it's going to be interesting to see who makes the top 10 after Richmond is over. Hopefully the Texaco/Havoline Dodge is one of those that makes the cut. If we can avoid trouble, I feel good about our chances."

You're only 25 points out of the top 10. You had 25 points taken away back at Bristol in the spring. How much sleep have you lost the last few days over losing those points?

"There's nothing you can do about it now. I mean, if after Richmond we miss the Top 10 and the Chase for the Championship by 25 points, yeah, of course, everyone is going to start playing the 'What If?' game. But you have to look back at our season as a whole. We've given away numerous points this year with blown motors and other bad luck that goes along with racing, so if we miss the Top 10 by a small amount of points, it will not be for just one infraction."

A lot of drivers have been vocal about the new points system implemented this year. As we approach the final race before the cut-off, what are your thoughts?

"You know, I was one of the vocal drivers at the beginning of the season that did not like the new points system. But I must admit, it's been exciting to see all the coverage that those of us trying to get into the top 10 have been receiving by the media over the last few weeks. It's great for our sponsors, and I think it's created a lot of buzz for NASCAR. Usually this time in the season is when there are a handful of drivers that are competing for the championship and there's not much media focus. I think overall the new points system has been good for all involved."

What will be your thoughts if after Richmond you're not in the Top 10?

"I guess that'll be something I'll think about after Richmond. Right now my focus is working with (crew chief) Donnie Wingo and the entire Texaco/Havoline team on getting our car strong for the race this weekend. I think everyone that's trying to get into the Top 10 will have a little higher concentration and more focus heading into this weekend's race."

-cgr-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP