CHIP GANASSI (Car Owner Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Dodge Intrepid R/Ts) Ganassi announced Saturday that Jamie McMurray will drive the Havoline Dodge Intrepid R/T next season on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. "We've been talking to...
CHIP GANASSI (Car Owner Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Dodge Intrepid R/Ts)
Ganassi announced Saturday that Jamie McMurray will drive the Havoline Dodge Intrepid R/T next season on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit.
"We've been talking to Jamie and keeping an eye on him for a few weeks. With all of these turn of events with ChevronTexaco and everything you guys have been writing about it for the past three or four months, everybody knows now what we're doing. We're proud to introduce Jamie as our driver. The Chevron folks are happy about it. We're thrilled about it and we're more thrilled with last night's performance (second in Busch Grand National race at Richmond).
"You know what I see in this guy, you can talk about talent and records and things like that, but what I see is a lot of heart. That's what I look for. Everybody wants to go fast and everybody has all the little phrases to say and everybody knows how to handle things and everybody knows all the tracks and where they've been. They know about the setups and everything, but you look for heart today. Jamie and I sat and talked about a lot of things outside of racing. We didn't talk much about racing.
"It's a multi-year deal with Jamie and a multi-year deal with ChevronTexaco. I don't want to say more than that.
"It's not out of the question (for McMurray to run a Cup race with Ganassi this season). It's not in the plans right now, but I wouldn't say it's a definite no. There's been all that talk about the number and paint scheme. That'll be in the next press conference. To talk about this deal, you have to talk about what's been going on with this ChevronTexaco drama this past month. I think you guys have about covered everything. Let's hope we can put a rest to this and get back to racing. We were talking to Ricky (Rudd), and you saw where he was in planning. I wouldn't call that a short-term deal, but it wasn't exactly a long one.
"I guess a lot of young guys have come up and haven't made it. Anybody in this paddock that will tell you they know what that's the case is lying to you. Nobody knows for sure. You never know. So many young people these days make a little bit of money and they think they're in the big time. It's very hard for somebody in their 20s to swallow all that and deal with all the things they have to deal with. Some of them can handle it and some of them can't. Nobody knows until they're in the middle of it."
JAMIE MCMURRAY (2003 Driver Texaco Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"This is a tremendous opportunity for me. Chip's teams are definitely capable of winning and running for points championships. When they said ChevronTexaco was going to come on and be the sponsor, that just made it better. I think everybody knows the history that goes with this race car and the talent that has been in it.
"They gave me all the chances in the world with all the restarts last night. It was really hard for me to walk through the garage area and not say anything. I know people looked at me and saw the smile on my face and wondered what was up. I had a great run last night, and hopefully we can finish up the season and get a win.
"Chip and I talked a little about racing, but for the most part we talked about things that didn't involve racing. I was almost surprised at the questions he did ask me because most of them didn't pertain to racing. I don't know what I said, but I'm glad I said it and got this opportunity.
"I think right now everybody is looking for youth, and that's definitely one thing I have on my side. I think a lot of guys are looking at that, and I think that's one thing that Chip looked at."