Talladega: JR Motorsports preview

Jamie McMurray No. 88 Hellmann's Chevrolet How do you mentally prepare for a race like Talladega? "I've raced at Talladega several times in the Nationwide Series and it just seems like trouble wants to find you at a track like that. The biggest...

Jamie McMurray
No. 88 Hellmann's Chevrolet

How do you mentally prepare for a race like Talladega? "I've raced at Talladega several times in the Nationwide Series and it just seems like trouble wants to find you at a track like that. The biggest thing you can do is not try to overthink it. You'll see guys riding in the back of the pack trying to avoid The Big One, and you'll see guys doing the same up front and in the middle. But the wreck can happen anywhere. So you've got to keep your head and just be smooth. Try not to overanalyze the situations."

What's it been like working with JRM's No. 88 Hellmann's team? "It's was great working with Pops and the Hellmann's crew last weekend. They brought a great car to Texas, and they are really good at restrictor-plate tracks. It's no secret that group has had a lot of success and experience at superspeedways, and with some of the best equipment in this garage, we're expecting good results."

What are your thoughts on working with Steve Arpin? "I'm excited for Steve [Arpin]. I'm looking forward to working with him as JRM teammates this weekend. He's got a great shot with a quality organization, and I hope he can make the most out of it. I think it's really neat that Dale's putting Steve in the No. 7 Chevrolet, and I think it says a lot about what he's trying to do for the future of his organization."

Steve Arpin
No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet

What's going through your mind this week, as you look ahead to your first Nationwide Series start with JRM? "It's been a busy week leading up to this race at Talladega. I've been trying to keep my mind focused and centered on what I do best, which is driving a racecar. The biggest thing is how thankful I am to Dale Jr., Kelley, and the Eurys for putting this opportunity in front of me. It's really cool they would be willing to take a chance on me, and I hope we can get some solid results out of it."

What would constitute a good weekend for you at Talladega? "Anytime you go into a race weekend, you want to do well. But I also want to be realistic for myself and for this No. 7 Chevy team. For it to be a good weekend, we have to finish all of the laps. I need to get some solid seat time and learn what I can out there. I know I have an awesome team, so to have a good competitive top-10 or top-15 finish would be great. Our main goal though is to finish the race and get a solid point's day for the No. 7 Chevy."

Is there any added pressure debuting in such a massive facility as Talladega? "I don't think there is much added pressure being at Talladega. It is a race where you have to respect one another and stay 100 percent focused from start to finish. Tony Eury Jr. has been a great help in preparing me for it and I'll have Dale's spotter TJ Majors on the roof for me. Dale and I are also going to sit down and talk about drafting. I'm looking forward to that. He's one of the best at restrictor plate tracks, and there isn't any better coach than him. Also, I'm in a perfect situation with great people at JRM, so that relieves a lot of the added pressure."

***

DRIVER CHANGE IN NO. 7 - JR Motorsports co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced last week that Steve Arpin will take over driving duties of the No. 7 Chevrolet for the next two consecutive races, beginning this weekend at Talladega. Arpin currently occupies the points lead in the ARCA Series and has won the series' past two races, but will make his Nationwide Series debut with JRM. The Fort Frances, Ontario native is also expected to pilot the No. 7 next week at Richmond Int'l Raceway.

ARPIN AT TALLADEGA - Arpin holds one start at Talladega in the Automobile Racing Club of America Series while driving for Eddie Sharp. The 26-year-old finished 11th after an 18th-place start in the event in 2009.

MCMURRAY AT TALLADEGA - In five starts at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, McMurray owns one top-10 finish, with a career average finish of 26.8. In those five starts, McMurray's sole top-10 came in the only race in which he completed every lap.

RESTRICTOR PLATE TRIUMPHS - The No. 88 Hellmann's team is no stranger to success at Talladega Superspeedway. Dating back to the 2008 race at Talladega, the No. 88 Hellmann's team has never started outside the top 10 and has led 28 laps. Their best finish was a ninth-place showing in this same event last year.

ON THE MOVE - Both the JRM teams continue to gain ground in the 2010 owner standings. After last week's effort at Texas, the No. 88 team gained three spots and sit 10th, while the No. 7 team gained one spot and occupy the 24th position.

-source: jrm

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jamie McMurray , Tony Eury Jr. , Steve Arpin
Teams JRM Racing , JR Motorsports