Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion, will make his 200th career NASCAR Sprint Cup start this weekend at Pocono. McMurray met with reporters this morning, and quickly dismissed a report from earlier this week that said he...
Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion, will make his 200th career NASCAR Sprint Cup start this weekend at Pocono. McMurray met with reporters this morning, and quickly dismissed a report from earlier this week that said he was leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the year.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEXT YEAR? "The same thing that I'm doing this year: the Crown Royal, No. 26, with Roush Fenway."
WHY DO YOU THINK [JIM] UTTER THINKS OTHERWISE? "I don't know. I'm not a speculator."
THERE IS PLENTY OF SILLY SEASON SPECULATION GOING ON. ARE YOU PUTTING OUT ANY FEELERS? "No, I have not."
HAVE YOUR REPRESENTATIVES? "Not that I am aware of."
HAVE OTHER TEAMS INQUIRED ABOUT YOU? "Not that I'm aware of. It's hard to answer questions because anything I answer will lead to the next question, and there's not really anything to talk about. I don't know where Utter got his story, and so it's certainly drawn attention to something that -- it's, I don't know how you can say it, it's like whenever there's not anything to talk about, and you tell the truth, you feel like you need to add to the story so you can make people believe you. But, there's not anything to talk about."
DO YOU WANT TO BE THERE NEXT YEAR? "Yes."
DO YOU WORRY ABOUT IT? "No."
ARE YOU HAPPY? "Yes. Certainly, we want to run better. I'm at an incredible organization, and we have all the cars and people that are capable of running to win every weekend. So, the move from Ganassi to here I really hoped was going to be able to put me in the chase every year, and that we'd contend to win races on a regular basis, and our performance hasn't been as good what's expected -- whether it's from me, the race team or the sponsor. So, you want to continue to get better, and the car of tomorrow has brought some new challenges. The first four or five races we didn't run bad, but we just seemed to have bad luck or freaky things would happen to us, and it just put us in a really bad position. But the last four or five weeks have been pretty good, and you just try to continue and build on that. The thing about racing is that if you run well for four weeks everything's great, and if you run bad for two it seems like you need to go find somewhere else to drive, they say. Everything is fine here. I don't really know what the basis of Utter's story was."
HAVE YOU TALKED TO JACK ROUSH OR GEOFF SMITH ABOUT IT? "Well, when all of it came up, we just all talked and I never asked to get out of my contract and they never said that they were going to release me from my contract. There was never any discussion of any of that. So, we just were all trying to figure out where it came from."
DO FEEL THAT THIS TEAM IS AT A POINT WHERE YOU CAN COMPETE FOR WINS EVERY WEEK? OR, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET THERE? "Yeah, our cars have been really good, and our qualifying has gotten a little bit better. It's just that you always have the teams every year -- certainly the 16 team and the 18 team have been incredible this season -- and it seems like every year you have a few guys that hit on something that seems like it wants to work for them at all the tracks. But I think with Sonoma coming up, and certainly Daytona, those are places that I feel that I can win every time that I go to, and that's the ones that we're focused on right now."
WHAT ABOUT HERE. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS WEEKEND? "I don't know. We tested here and as an organization they didn't feel like we had a great test, but the engineers have worked on a different setup and something different to try for Pocono."
DO YOU TRY TO TAKE WHAT THE 16 DOES, THE 17 DOES, WHAT THE 6 DOES AND PUT IT TO YOUR CAR? OR, DO YOU HAVE A DIFFERENT STYLE? "No, we all start pretty similar for the weekend, unless you test. You know, if you test somewhere, you learn two or three things and you try to apply those to your race weekend. And those probably all start with very similar setups, and sometimes those work for each driver and sometimes the drivers have to get away from that and do what's best for them."
THIS WILL BE YOUR 200TH START. IS THAT A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER FOR YOU? "Well, I turned 32 on Tuesday, felt a little bit old, and 200 starts, that seems like a lot. I look at that and it seems like it would take a lot of years to make that happen. It just doesn't seem like I've been here that long."
IT'S GONE BY FAST? "It has gone by really fast, yeah. It just doesn't seem like that long ago when I was getting in the 40 car, even running Busch races, so it went by really fast."
-credit: ford racing