BUSCH: Fontana II: Jamie McMurray preview

FONTANA, CA (August 31, 2004)--Following a three race stretch in which Duraflame RWI Racing has scored its best qualifying and race results of the season, Jamie McMurray and the team head west this week for the Target House 300 at California ...

FONTANA, CA (August 31, 2004)--Following a three race stretch in which Duraflame RWI Racing has scored its best qualifying and race results of the season, Jamie McMurray and the team head west this week for the Target House 300 at California Speedway. McMurray is optimistic about his chances.

Said McMurray, "When I joined this team, I knew it had a ton of potential. Rusty is a great car owner and doesn't do anything that isn't first-class. The cars are really good; we haven't even yet started to scratch the surface of this team's potential. We've had a pole and a top-ten in the past three weeks, but that should really be more like a pole and three top-fives, with maybe a win thrown in there. We have the speed to win races; we just have to put all of the pieces together. We've been having problems with pit stops lately, but I feel confident that Blake (Bainbridge, crew chief) has all of those problems figured out. If we can hold our own on pit road and not make mistakes, we're definitely going to be one of the teams to beat on Saturday."

Prior to McMurray's arrival at Duraflame RWI Racing, the team's best outing of the year occurred in the first race at California Speedway with rookie Billy Parker behind the wheel. Parker was the highest qualifying rookie in the race, placing 11th. He went on to lead five laps that day, including the halfway lap. Contact with a lapped car would later relegate the Duraflame Dodge to a 22nd place finish, one lap down. Duraflame RWI Racing team owner, Rusty Wallace, sees this weekend's event as a prime shot at victory for the team.

"When we looked at the schedule at the beginning of the year, we had California Speedway circled. This is an event that we really think we can win. You need a ton of horsepower and good downforce in order to win there. We definitely have both of those; Penske-Jasper Engines has some of the best power in the garage and I'm sure they'll give us a real bullet for this weekend. This team had a great run going here last time with Billy. Circumstances didn't work out quite right, but we showed that we can be a contender at California. We've just got to concentrate on making good strategy calls and not making mistakes on pit road. Jamie McMurray's been driving the heck out of this race car. If we don't let him down in the pits, I feel sure that he's going to be up there when it counts on Saturday," commented Wallace.

Saturday's race has another special significance to the team. Primary sponsor, Duraflame, is located somewhat nearby in Stockton, CA.

Noted Wallace, "With Duraflame being based in California, it'd be really special to win out here for them. I'm sure that they're going to have a lot of people out at the track this weekend and we're going to do our best to put on one heck of a show for them."

Friday's 4:00 PM ET single round of qualifying will award all 43 starting positions for Saturday's 150 lap, 300 mile race and will be shown live on Speed Channel at 4:00 PM ET. Friday's on-track activity also includes "Happy Hour," the final practice before Saturday's race. Saturday's Target House 300 has a 3:00 PM ET starting time and will be broadcast live on NBC at 3:00 PM ET and on MRN Radio, with radio coverage beginning at 2:45 ET.


RWI Promotions, a subsidiary of Rusty Wallace, Inc., offers comprehensive show car programs featuring the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, the #66 Duraflame Dodge and the #22 Miller High Life Ford. For more information on booking RWI Promotions show cars, please contact Joyce Kearns at 704.799.3966 or jkearns@rwiracing.com.

On the Big Screen: Both Rusty and Jamie will film cameo appearances at California Speedway this week for the Disney feature film Herbie: Fully Loaded, to be released next summer. The film stars Lindsay Lohan, Michael Keaton, Matt Dillon, Breckin Meyer and Justin Long.

Open House: Next week, McMurray will film an episode of "MTV Cribs," at his Statesville, NC home, that will air later this year. The television show showcases the homes and lifestyles of various celebrities.

Back to School: While in L.A. this week, McMurray will tape a segment as guest anchor on "Channel One News." Channel One News is a daily, televised, 12-minute newscast that is beamed via satellite to 12,000 middle, junior and high schools representing over 8 million students and 400,000 educators.


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Drivers Rusty Wallace , Jamie McMurray , Billy Parker