Loudon II: Jamie McMurray race report

McMurray's hot streak continues; scores top-10 finish at Loudon LOUDON, N.H., (September 14, 2003) --- Jamie McMurray's hot streak continued today as the No. 42 Havoline Dodge finished in the 10th position in the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Winston Cup...

McMurray's hot streak continues; scores top-10 finish at Loudon

LOUDON, N.H., (September 14, 2003) --- Jamie McMurray's hot streak continued today as the No. 42 Havoline Dodge finished in the 10th position in the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Winston Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. It was McMurray's eighth top-10 finish of the season, and his fourth top-10 finish in the last seven races. The Havoline driver took top Raybestos Rookie honors for the 13th time in 2003, including six of the last seven races. McMurray has more top-10 finishes than any other Raybestos Rookie.

"I think that our qualifying run probably really paid off today, because the thing went so far green at the beginning we probably would have went a lap down," McMurray said. "Our Havoline Dodge wasn't that great at the beginning, but we had good pit strategy and we had good pit stops and good calls. Our car was probably average today. That's nice to finish 10th and say your car was average. The car was the same pretty much all day."

"Yeah, top-10s are what you go for," McMurray added. "I think that's four top-10s in eight races or seven races, so that's a pretty good day. We were a lot closer than we were last time. We'll probably go test again at Milwaukee or somewhere, maybe come here and test and see if we can't make our cars better."

After a strong qualifying effort of third, McMurray radioed his crew early in the race that his Havoline Dodge was "loose in, and tight from the center off." By lap 25, McMurray was running in the fourth position.

As the laps began to click off, McMurray's car begin to slid back through the field and during a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 85, McMurray came to the attention of his Havoline crew and was serviced with four tires and fuel as wedge and track bar adjustments were made to correct the handling on the Havoline Dodge.

As the race reached the halfway point, McMurray was running eighth as he radioed to the crew that "the car's better, but probably still needs a little more."

By lap 225, the Joplin, Mo. native was running fifth as the team elected to stay out during a caution period. By lap 263, the Havoline Dodge was running fourth.

During his final scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 269, McMurray took gas only as a wedge adjustment was made to correct a "loose in, tight off" condition. After the cycle of green flag pit stops had been completed, McMurray found himself running in the 11th position.

With 10 laps to go, McMurray mounted a charge to get into the top 10, and when the checkered flag waved, his effort was rewarded with 10th-place honors.

McMurray's eighth top-10 finish of the season vaulted him up two positions in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series point standings. McMurray leaves New Hampshire 18th in points. McMurray also continued to stretch out his lead over Greg Biffle in the Rabyestos Rookie-of-the-Year standings.

Next up for McMurray and the Havoline team is "The Monster Mile" at Dover International Speedway for the running of the MBNA America 400 this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The race will be televised LIVE on NBC Television and MRN Radio.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Greg Biffle , Jamie McMurray