Charlotte II: Jamie McMurray race report

Jamie McMurray's marathon ends with another top-10 finish CONCORD, N.C., (October 11, 2003) --- NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray was tired at the conclusion of tonight's UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Joplin, Mo.

Jamie McMurray's marathon ends with another top-10 finish

CONCORD, N.C., (October 11, 2003) --- NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray was tired at the conclusion of tonight's UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Joplin, Mo. native had every reason to be after completing 800 miles today of racing action. But that didn't slow the momentum of the freight train that McMurray and the Havoline team have been on lately. When the checkered flag fell on tonight's race, McMurray's No. 42 Havoline Dodge crossed the finish line in the seventh position.

The seventh-place finish was McMurray's 11th top-10 finish of the season and his fourth top-10 finish in the last five races. McMurray finished fifth earlier in the day in the Little Trees 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"I really thought I'd be more tired than this but both cars handled pretty good and that makes it a lot easier," McMurray said. "As a matter of fact we caught the 18 car from a straightaway behind and I was really wishing there were about 10 more laps so I could get by him. It was a pretty good day for the Havoline Dodge."

"That's good, I guess, to finish in the top-10 and you feel like you want to do better," McMurray added. "We just need to get a couple of breaks to go our way. "I won the race here last year because of pit strategy and the way it worked out and I think if we can get that to happen for us before the year is over we will win a race. You can't be disappointed with seventh."

After qualifying 19th, McMurray steadily was working his way towards the front in the opening laps and the Havoline Dodge was running 10th by lap 53.

During a caution period on lap 59, McMurray headed for pit road and was serviced with four tires and fuel. Lightning fast work by the Havoline crew enabled McMurray to exit pit road in the eighth position.

As the race began to reach the halfway point, McMurray's Havoline Dodge was running sixth as he radioed the crew that his car was "a little tight."

During a caution flag a lap 155, McMurray made a stop on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Within the last 100 laps of the race, McMurray began to fight a tight condition with his Havoline Dodge as he was running 10th by lap 212.

When the caution flag waved on lap 231, McMurray made his way to pit road and was fitted with four fresh Goodyear Eagles and fuel as the crew made a track bar adjustment to free the car up. A blazing pit stop by the Havoline crew vaulted McMurray into seventh place on the restart.

McMurray maintained the seventh position with 25 laps to go, and when the checkered flag fell, his Havoline Dodge came across the finish line in seventh place.

The finish moved McMurray up one place in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series point standings. McMurray leaves Charlotte 16th in points and is only 90 points out of 14th place. McMurray also extended this lead over Greg Biffle in the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year standings. McMurray took top Raybestos Rookie honors for the 17th time this season and for the eighth consecutive race Next up for McMurray and the Havoline team is the short track at Martinsville Speedway for the running of the Old Dominion 500 this Sunday. The race will be televised LIVE on NBC.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jamie McMurray