Texas: Jamie McMurray race report

McMurray Soldiers to Second Straight 10th-Place Finish in Texas FT. WORTH, Texas, (April 4, 2004) --- Jamie McMurray and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline team proved today that sometimes if you wait around long enough, a break will come your way.

McMurray Soldiers to Second Straight 10th-Place Finish in Texas

FT. WORTH, Texas, (April 4, 2004) --- Jamie McMurray and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline team proved today that sometimes if you wait around long enough, a break will come your way. After struggling with the handling on the Texaco/Havoline Dodge throughout the day and losing a lap to the leaders, McMurray found himself as the "Lucky Dog" winner late in the race. Once back on the lead lap, McMurray scored his second straight 10th-place finish in the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

"That was a tough top-10 finish, but that's two in a row and it got us a little closer to the top 10," McMurray said. "This Texaco/Havoline team never gave up today. Donnie (crew chief Wingo) and the guys did a great job in the pits. We'll take a break and then try to come back strong at Martinsville. We're going to test there this week, so hopefully we'll learn a lot and have a good car."

After qualifying 26th, McMurray quickly radioed his crew in the early stages of the race that his car was "tight off and loose everywhere else." By lap 75 McMurray was running in the 22nd position.

McMurray continued to fight an ill-handling race car by lap 91 as he went one lap down to the leaders.

With each caution period and scheduled green flag pit stop, the Texaco/Havoline team continued to make adjustments. By lap 200 McMurray was running 17th, one lap down to the leaders.

McMurray was the recipient of the "Lucky Dog" award by NASCAR on lap 283 when the caution flag waved. McMurray, who was running the first car one lap down to the leaders when the caution flag came out, got a "free pass" and was able to get his lap back.

Now back on the lead lap, the Texaco/Havoline team continued to make adjustments to McMurray's car as he was running in the 11th position by lap 291.

In the closing laps of the race, McMurray moved into the top 10 and when the checkered flag waved, the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge crossed the finish line in the 10th position.

It was the second straight 10th-place finish for the team at Texas Motor Speedway.

McMurray's 10th-place finish was his fourth top-10 finish of the season and moved him up to 13th place in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points. The Joplin, Mo. native is only 16 points out of the NASCAR Top 10.

McMurray and the Texaco/Havoline team will test at Martinsville Speedway this Tuesday in preparation for the upcoming race at the historic short track. The team gets a needed weekend off before returning to action April 18 in the Advance Auto Parts 500 from Martinsville Speedway.

-cgr-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jamie McMurray