McMurray Masters Martinsville Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Driver Gets First Career NCTS Win MARTINSVILLE VA (October 23, 2004) -Jamie McMurray held off Dennis Setzer over the last ten laps of the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday to...
McMurray Masters Martinsville
Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Driver Gets First Career NCTS Win
MARTINSVILLE VA (October 23, 2004) -Jamie McMurray held off Dennis Setzer over the last ten laps of the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday to win his first career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. McMurray's Ultra Motorsports prepared Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge was nearly flawless all afternoon on Martinsville Speedway's newly resurfaced .526 mile oval.
"We had a really good truck here," McMurray said after the race. "We've been good every time we've been in the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge. We just haven't been able to put that win together. It's real cool to get it here at Martinsville. This is probably one of my favorite racetracks. I love to come here. It's different than the typical mile and a half racetracks we go to every week. They did a great job repaving the track. It's really special to get the win here. It's harder to pass here than in the past. Every time they repave a racetrack it seems to take awhile."
When the green flag fell to start the race, McMurray quickly moved up through the field from his 18th starting position into the top 10. On lap 61 Crew Chief Trip Bruce called McMurray and his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge down pit road for tires and fuel. As the race progressed, other competitors were forced to pit or suffered damage from one of the many on-track incidents, and McMurray was able to race his way into the top three, trailing only race leader Travis Kvapil and Jack Sprague. On lap 174 it was if the Red Sea had parted... actually it was two red trucks, Kvapil's Toyota and Sprague's Chevrolet, that cleared the way for McMurray's Dodge. Sprague dove underneath Kvapil for the lead and the two leaders slammed into the outside retaining wall in turn two.
"I just heard my spotter say 'Stay low, stay low! You're the leader,'" A jubilant McMurray said in Victory Lane. "I could see I could catch those guys, but I really didn't know if I was going to be able to pass them. I thought maybe I could pass one of them but passing both of them was going to be difficult. When I saw the 16 trying to pass the 24, I knew the leader wasn't going to let him go. They tangled up, and track position was real important. I can't say enough about the job that Trip Bruce did today. He listens well and he makes great calls. He is a really good crew chief to work with."
McMurray made a bit of NASCAR history with his win in the Kroger 200. He became only the 8th NASCAR driver to win in all of the top three NASCAR touring series. Ironically the last driver to accomplish that feat was Jimmy Spencer at New Hampshire last season when he was also driving the No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge. For McMurray the key is what type of equipment you choose to drive.
"I've been really fortunate to get to drive for people that have equipment capable of winning." McMurray said. "Whether it's Jim Smith's truck or James Finch's Busch car or Chip and Felix's Cup car, you can't do it without good equipment. Martinsville is just so tight. When guys get spun out, and everyone does it, you just mash the gas and try to spin all the way around. You try to figure out which way to go and sometimes you make the wrong decision. It's so close. You get run into from behind and you run into the guy in front of you."