McMurray - Ford interview 2008-08-26

This Week in Ford Racing Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will be pulling double-duty this weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., as he competes in the Sprint and ...

This Week in Ford Racing

Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will be pulling double-duty this weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., as he competes in the Sprint and Nationwide Series events.

If people are looking for a darkhorse, McMurray might be the perfect choice because in 10 career Cup races, he has three top-five and five top-10 finishes. McMurray also has 10 Nationwide starts at the track and has two top-five and six top-10 efforts.

IS THERE ANY EXPLANATION FOR WHY YOU HAVE SUCH A GOOD RECORD AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY? "No, not really. I never really even pay attention to stats and stuff like that until it comes time to go to the race and somebody will bring it up. I don't know, it seems like history is always a good judgment or good marker of how you're gonna run when you go back. The tracks you don't have a good history at, you tend to struggle at and the ones that you run well at, you seem to have good stats."

AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON PEOPLE WILL START ASKING DRIVERS IN YOUR POSITION ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU'LL USE THESE FINAL FEW RACES TO TEST THINGS OUT FOR NEXT YEAR. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT? "I don't think it's any different than usual. I think the media does a really good job of making it seem like we're focusing on next year, but all of these teams show up at the track every week trying to sit on the pole and trying to win the race. Maybe if you're trying to get in the chase you don't take a chance, but I think you should race the same way no matter what. I feel you should have the same mental outlook on all those and you should call your races the same way."

IF THERE'S A CHANCE TO GAMBLE ON SOMETHING LIKE FUEL MILEAGE, HOWEVER, WOULD YOUR TEAM DO IT WITH WHERE YOU ARE IN POINTS? "I don't think so because we were somewhere a few weeks ago and were really close on whether or not we'd make it on fuel, but we couldn't. There was maybe a small possibility that we could, but Larry [Carter, crew chief] was like, 'We're not gonna make it,' so we didn't take a chance. I think you have to race the same no matter what."

DO YOU FEEL YOUR TEAM IS FINDING SOME SPEED AND GAINING ON IT? "I feel like in four of the last 10 weeks our cars have been top-10 cars, but it seems like little things kept biting us. Still, we've been able to put those finishes together and feel pretty good about things right now."

ARE MICHIGAN AND CALIFORNIA AS CLOSE AS TWO TRACKS CAN BE FROM A COMPARISON STANDPOINT? "Yeah, but the setups are a fair amount different. It just seems like the guys that run well at Michigan will run well at Fontana. If you look at the guy that won Michigan, he should run well and the guys that didn't run well at Michigan will probably struggle at Fontana."

-credit: ford racing

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jamie McMurray