McMurray Battles to Eighth-Place Finish in Bristol BRISTOL, Tenn., (March 28, 2004) --- Jamie McMurray was the warrior and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge was his shield as he battled to an eighth-place finish today in the Food City 500 at...
McMurray Battles to Eighth-Place Finish in Bristol
BRISTOL, Tenn., (March 28, 2004) --- Jamie McMurray was the warrior and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge was his shield as he battled to an eighth-place finish today in the Food City 500 at the half-mile bullring of Bristol Motor Speedway.
The finish was McMurray's third top-10 of the season and moved him into 14th place in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points, only 43 points out of the NASCAR Top 10.
A late-race altercation with Matt Kenseth summed up the day for McMurray and the Texaco/Havoline team.
"This place is so easy to get mad at," McMurray said. "There's not a whole lot you can do about it. I think he (Kenseth) was upset that I got into him and got him out of the way, but with 10 laps to go at Bristol that's just the way it is. This place is famous for the bump and run. That's what I did to him, and he got upset about it. The last couple of laps I was just trying not to run into Sterling and just finish, but Matt got me pretty good twice. The last time it shot me up the racetrack."
"All-in-all it was a pretty long day for the Texaco/Havoline team," McMurray added. "I screwed up and didn't pit once and I think I went from third or fourth all the way back to 28th. We fought all day to try to keep up with the racetrack. We didn't do a real good job of it, but we had a top-five car at the end. Somebody asked me before what it takes to stay cool here. Evidently I don't know."
The day was one of battles for McMurray and the Texaco/Havoline team. After qualifying sixth, McMurray got together with Kasey Kahne on lap 58 as both cars went spinning down turn two. There was no damage to McMurray's machine and after making a pit stop, he returned to racing action in the 28th position.
McMurray continued his assault on the field as the race reached the halfway stage as his Texaco/Havoline Dodge was running in the seventh position by lap 250.
During a caution period on lap 430, McMurray headed for pit road for tires and fuel while the crew made air pressure and chassis adjustments to correct a loose in, tight off condition. He exited pit road in the 12th position.
In the closing 50 laps of the race, McMurray maneuvered his way into the top 10 and was running in fifth place when the race was red flagged on lap 494 due to an on-track incident. Just prior to the red flag waving, McMurray and Kenseth were in a spirited battle for fifth place.
When the race resumed with a green-white-checkered flag finish, McMurray and Kenseth made contact again. McMurray was on the receiving end this time as he was rooted up out of the groove as Kenseth shot past.
Coming to take the checkered flag, McMurray's Texaco/Havoline Dodge crossed the finish line in eighth place.
Next up for McMurray and the Texaco/Havoline team is the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday.