Hampton, Ga -- Jamie McMurray scored his first Busch Series win after taking the lead with one lap to go at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. McMurray was running second when leader Joe Nemechek ran out of gas heading towards the white flag. The white flag lap was the first McMurray and his #27 Chevrolet led all day.
"We didn't have the best car today, for sure. Sometimes it takes a lot of luck to win a race and you have to have everything on your side." Things have definitely been on the 26-year-old's side as of late. One being his fuel gamble and the other being his Charlotte win in the Winston Cup Series two weeks ago.
The guy sure does know how to celebrate. After winning Saturday's race on fuel mileage, McMurray, driving for Brewco Motorsports, ran out of gas while doing his celebratory burnouts across the start/finish line. Two weeks earlier at the Lowe's Motor Speedway, he toasted the motor in his Ganassi Racing #40 Dodge in the Cup race after scoring his first victory in only his second start. McMurray's Atlanta Busch Series win came on his 66th start.
Michael Waltrip, who devastated the field with a blistering lead throughout the day by leading 114 laps, finished second. Waltrip was one of many teams that were forced to the pits for a gas and go as the laps were winding down. Waltrip's stop came with 14 to go.
Mike McLaughlin and Scott Riggs grabbed the third and fourth spots with championship leader Greg Biffle closing out the top five. Biffle's championship contender, ppc's Jason Keller also had a solid run in seventh.
Entering the race in Atlanta, Biffle, driving for Roush Racing, had a 105 point lead over Keller. After leading a lap and finishing two spots above the ppc driver, Biffle's point lead has now increased to a 119 point spread.
Trouble began fairly early when on lap 13 the #36 Dodge driven by Hank Parker Jr got loose while the 40 of Brian Vickers attempted a pass on the outside. Parker spun and smacked the driver's side of Vicker's car. Parker was the first car out of the event due to rearend damage after hitting the wall. Vickers on the other hand, had a strong showing all weekend. He ran the fastest lap in the early practice session on Friday, which carried over to his 12th place finish in the Aaron's 312.
The caution flag flew again on lap 63 when the #12 driven by Kerry Earnhardt spun and backed into the outside retaining wall.
The sixth and final caution flag flew on lap 121 when Dwayne Leik's engine blew. The yellow then brought the ever important round of yellow flag pit stops which led McMurray to the win. McMurray, unlike many others, dipped to the pits a final time on lap 127 for a final fill-up.
The rainy weather in Atlanta played havoc all weekend by first forcing the cancellation of qualifying and the final practice session. Rain was in the forecast for Saturday but luckily caused only two short caution flags due to a slight mist.
After running out of gas, Joe Nemechek ended up in sixth. With Keller seventh, Bobby Hamilton Jr., Ashton Lewis Jr., and Johnny Sauter close out the top-10.