Dover II: Jamie McMurray preview

After a second-place run in June, McMurray and the No. 26 team look forward to a return to the Monster Mile" CONCORD, N.C. (September 20, 2006) - In the midst of "Chase racing," Jamie McMurray isn't running for championship points, instead ...

After a second-place run in June, McMurray and the No. 26 team look forward to a return to the Monster Mile"

CONCORD, N.C. (September 20, 2006) - In the midst of "Chase racing," Jamie McMurray isn't running for championship points, instead he's looking for his first victory of the 2006 season. McMurray entered this season not only brand new to Roush Racing, Ford and the No. 26 crew, but with high expectations for the season. Thus far, McMurray has secured three top-five finishes and seven top-10 finishes. His best finish of the 2006 season came at Dover International Speedway just three months ago, when he finished second. This weekend, McMurray has his eye on the win that slipped away in the closing laps of the Neighborhood Excellence 400 back in June.

"It was our best race of the year, it just seemed like everything came together in one race," McMurray said. "Dover was huge for our team; we needed that second-place finish. I was really hoping for the win and tried everything I could do to hold off Matt (Kenseth), but he had the stronger car there at the end."

In his seven starts at Dover International Speedway, McMurray has racked up one top-five and three top-10 finishes, and has an average finish of 14.1 at the "Monster Mile." McMurray's average finish ranks him eighth best among all active drivers.

Dover has also proven to be among McMurray's best qualifying tracks, with the "Monster Mile" ranking second among NASCAR tracks where he has more than four starts. In fact, in seven starts at Dover, McMurray has an average starting position of 13.3. "I traditionally don't qualify very well, but Dover is just one of those tracks that have been good to me over the years. The banking at Dover is great; you drive up the hill and drop off on the other side. It's a lot of fun," said McMurray.

Although McMurray hasn't had the season he expected when joining Roush Racing, it has been a season of rebuilding. "There have been a lot of ups and downs with the No. 26 team this season. Everyone says this is the same team that won the Championship a few years ago, but there have been a lot of changes and I think there are only a handful of guys from that season. We have a new crew chief, a new engineer and a lot of new crew guys. I am really proud of everyone's effort and this team has come a long way since the beginning of the season. We are really focused on these last nine races and we know we can show how strong this team really is."

The No. 26 team is looking forward to its return to the one-mile speedway, especially after their spectacular run earlier in the season. In the previous Dover start, McMurray, who was forced to start from the rear of the field after an engine change on Saturday, took control of the race with just 98 laps to go. After leading 95 laps, McMurray was passed by teammate, Kenseth coming off of turn four for the win.

"Hopefully, we can go into Dover and have a repeat weekend. The only thing that would be better would be to win the whole thing. This team is strong enough and has the will to go out there and contend for the victory. Hopefully, this Sunday we can get it done."

-credit: rr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jamie McMurray