McMurray Makes Most Of Record Pole-Setting Performance In Darlington Leaves 'Lady in Black' With Three Post-Race Awards, Boost In Standings CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 11, 2010) -- Carrying a sentimental logo and landing the top starting spot in ...
McMurray Makes Most Of Record Pole-Setting Performance In Darlington
Leaves 'Lady in Black' With Three Post-Race Awards, Boost In Standings
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 11, 2010) -- Carrying a sentimental logo and landing the top starting spot in record-setting fashion, Jamie McMurray made a strong showing in Saturday night's SHOWTIME Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, scoring a top-five finish, several post-race accolades and a climb in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.
The weekend started off well for McMurray, with a record-setting qualifying lap at the egg-shaped oval. McMurray man-handled the 1.366-mile speedway at 180.370 mph to surpass Matt Kenseth's record run from a year ago and edge seven-time Darlington winner Jeff Gordon for his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season.
McMurray's No. 1 McDonald's Chevrolet carried a special Bill France Jr. decal commemorating the former NASCAR chairman and his induction May 23rd into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Team co-owner Felix Sabates said Bill France Jr. was Jamie McMurray's co-pilot during qualifying.
"Bill was up there driving the car, Jamie was just along for the ride," joked Sabates during a pre-race press conference. "I'm proud of what Jamie did. It's a special day for me because of the relationship I had with Bill."
McMurray stayed on course at the track "Too Tough To Tame," steering the No. 1 McDonald's team to a second-place finish and three post-race contingency awards.
McMurray earned the "Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race" Award as the highest finishing eligible driver, while crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion captured the "DIRECTV TV Crew Chief of the Race" Award based on best qualifying and race efforts. The No. 1 pit crew also spent the least time on pit road Saturday night (305.523 seconds), winning the Tissot "Pit Road Precision" Award.
All awards are part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provide teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories.
"We had a good car, but Bono called a really good race," said McMurray. "Qualifying first, getting to have that pit stall, it made a huge difference. We beat three or four cars out of the pits each time. Darlington has just always been a really good track for me."
McMurray moved up three spots to 16th in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings.
Official winners of this week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Prize Money & Decal Program special awards include:
* COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: Jamie McMurray (180.370 mph, 27.264 secs.)
* DIRECTV CREW CHIEF OF THE RACE AWARD: Kevin Manion (crew chief for Jamie McMurray)
* GOODYEAR GATORBACK BELTS FASTEST LAP AWARD: Jeff Burton (172.942 mph, Lap 241)
* MAHLE CLEVITE ENGINE BUILDER OF THE RACE AWARD: Jeff Gordon
* MOBIL 1 "COMMAND PERFORMANCE DRIVER OF THE RACE" AWARD:Jamie McMurray
* MOOG CHASSIS PARTS PROBLEM SOLVER OF THE RACE AWARD: Gil Martin (crew chief for Kevin Harvick)
* O'REILLY AUTO PARTS POSITION IMPROVEMENT AWARD: Kyle Busch (32 places)
* RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE RACE AWARD: Kevin Conway
* SUNOCO DIAMOND PERFORMANCE AWARD: Denny Hamlin
* TISSOT "PIT ROAD PRECISION" AWARD: Jamie McMurray (305.523 secs)
* WIX FILTERS LAP LEADER AWARD: Denny Hamlin (104 laps)