Rockingham II: Jamie McMurray race report

McMurray scores top-15 honors at "The Rock" ROCKINGHAM, N.C., (November 3, 2002) --- Jamie McMurray continued to build on his impressive resume in his brief NASCAR Winston Cup career as he scored 15th-place honors in the Pop Secret Microwave ...

McMurray scores top-15 honors at "The Rock"

ROCKINGHAM, N.C., (November 3, 2002) --- Jamie McMurray continued to build on his impressive resume in his brief NASCAR Winston Cup career as he scored 15th-place honors in the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 today at North Carolina Speedway.

"We just missed the setup today," McMurray said. "The car was too tight in the early stages of the race, and then there at the end I just couldn't get in the gas quick enough coming off the turns. It's a little disappointing because I felt like we were capable of scoring a top-10 finish, but to come out of Rockingham with a top-15 is pretty good."

After qualifying second on the starting grid, McMurray's No. 40 Coors Light Dodge ran in the top 10 throughout the early stages of the race and by lap 70 McMurray had the No. 40 machine in the ninth position.

On lap 98, while running fifth, McMurray radioed that his car was "tight in the middle and loose everywhere else." As the leaders began to make green-flag pit stops, McMurray inherited the lead on lap 110. During a green-flag pit stop on lap 112, McMurray was fitted with four fresh tires and fuel as the crew made an air pressure adjustment. McMurray re-entered the race in the 12th position.

McMurray steadily worked his way back into the top 10 and by lap 187 was running sixth. McMurray made another green-flag pit stop on lap 194 and took four tires and fuel. He exited the pits in the 11th position.

McMurray would continue to fight a loose handling racecar during the middle stages of the race, but by lap 281 was again running in the top 10 in the eighth position.

With the laps winding down, McMurray's No. 40 Coors Light Dodge was firmly running in the 11th position by lap 337. Knowing that he would need one more pit stop for fuel, the Coors Light team opted to have McMurray head for pit road before the rest of the leaders in hopes of putting him on fresh tires and giving him an advantage on the field.

On lap 374, McMurray shot down pit road as the Coors Light team bolted four fresh tires on McMurray's machine and made a track bar adjustment. With a handful of laps remaining, McMurray began his assault on the field as he picked up positions with each completed lap.

When the checkered flag waved, McMurray crossed the finish line in the 15th position. In his first four NASCAR Winston Cup starts, McMurray has scored one victory, one top-10 and one top-15 finish. In his last six NASCAR starts, McMurray has scored three victories, four top-five and five top-10 finishes. McMurray continued his winning streak this weekend as he was victorious in Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series race at North Carolina Speedway.

In addition to competing in the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series events this weekend at North Carolina Speedway, McMurray and the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge team were participants in the annual Union 76 World Championship Pit Crew Competition. The Coors Light team finished the event in the 11th position after loose lug nuts were discovered in post-competition inspection.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jamie McMurray