BUSCH: McMurray races into Rockingham record book

BUSCH: McMurray races into Rockingham record book

Jamie McMurray has been fast in both of his cars at North Carolina Speedway this week, and on Saturday he drove his way into the record books, winning his fourth straight Busch Series race at Rockingham. Race winner Jamie McMurray ...

Jamie McMurray has been fast in both of his cars at North Carolina Speedway this week, and on Saturday he drove his way into the record books, winning his fourth straight Busch Series race at Rockingham.

Race winner Jamie McMurray celebrates in victory lane.
Photo by Dan Hamilton/Vantage Point.
McMurray, who started the race seventh, took the lead from Kevin Harvick with 20 laps to go and held off a hard charge by Martin Truex Jr. to win the Goody's Headache Powder 200. With the win, he equaled Mark Martin's record of four straight Busch Series victories at Rockingham.

"It's pretty good company to be in," McMurray admitted. "(If I'm) compared to Mark Martin for the rest of my life, I'll be in really good shape. He's one of the most respected drivers in the garage. I'm very proud of that."

After starting the race seventh, McMurray dropped to 12th by lap 50. The team made significant adjustments to tighten the car up during the first two pit stops and managed to get it more to McMurray's liking.

"When they dropped the green, I lost three spots in the first two laps," McMurray said. "I would classify the car as junk at first. It didn't start out very good. I came from behind a long ways. When it came time to go, I could go."

With 32 laps to go, Johnny Sauter and Aaron Fike bumped in Turn 3 to bring out the caution. Fike was sitting across the track near the outside wall and Hermie Sadler crashed heavily into the driver's side. Sadler was unhurt in the incident and Fike was awake in the infield medical centre after the race and was transported to the hospital for further observation.

Robby Gordon's lapped car was at the front of the inside lane on the restart and he drove Harvick up the track in Turn 1. McMurray dropped to the bottom lane and drove by the Richard Childress Racing teammates to take the lead with 20 laps to go.

"That wasn't a pass for the lead that was a lap down car sliding up into the leader," Harvick vented after the race. "You'll have to ask the guy that was holding on to the steering wheel -- see what kind of stupid answer you get."

Truex took second away from Harvick with a low-side pass in Turn 4 with 10 laps left on the board. He was gaining on McMurray in the closing laps but ran out of time to challenge for the lead.

"We needed five more laps," said Truex, who led a race-high 68 laps. "We had a great car all day. I'd have to say the Bass Pro Chevrolet was the class of the field today. We were running them down at the end, about two-tenths a lap. We just ran out of time."

David Stremme and Kevin Harvick.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
Pole sitter Johnny Benson was forced to start at the back of the field after one of his front coil springs was ruled illegal in post-qualifying inspection on Friday. He was working his way through the field before cutting a tire and making contact with Regan Smith. He finished ninth.

Greg Biffle was pulling away from the field when his motor let go just after crossing the start/finish line on lap 79. He took the lead from Truex on lap 61 and led the field for 19 laps.

"If we're going to be a threat for the championship we have to work on this stuff," commented Biffle, who finished 11th last week in Daytona. "I don't know if it's a drivetrain problem or it's out of balance, but something is wrong with the package we have right now."

Harvick finished third and took the series points lead while Michael Waltrip was fourth and David Green, who inherited the pole when Benson was sent to the back of the field, rounded out the top five.

Kyle Busch managed his second straight seventh-place finish at Rockingham. He was the highest finishing rookie.

"I didn't think we had that good of a car after yesterday's happy hour session, but overall the guys made awesome changes overnight," explained Busch, who lost a lap when he had to pit for a flat tire early in the race. "We came out with a strong finish even though we had kind of a setback in the beginning."

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Series NASCAR-XS
Teams Richard Childress Racing