DARLINGTON, SC (August 30, 2003) - When the NASCAR Busch Series last ran at Darlington Raceway in March, the outcome for Yellow Racing came down to a turn 4, last-lap pass for the lead; Jamie McMurray ended up crossing the finish line in second ...
DARLINGTON, SC (August 30, 2003) - When the NASCAR Busch Series last ran at Darlington Raceway in March, the outcome for Yellow Racing came down to a turn 4, last-lap pass for the lead; Jamie McMurray ended up crossing the finish line in second place. This time around for Yellow Racing, despite much early promise, the team's outcome was sealed by lap number 8. The #1 car hit the wall in turn 4, ending the day with a 41st place finish.
The weekend's activities at The Winn Dixie 200 started out strong for Yellow Racing with top-ten speeds in pre-race practice sessions and a second place qualifying run by McMurray. This matched the season's best starting position for Yellow Racing. And while many cars already sported a "Darlington stripe" prior to the start of Saturday's race, the No. 1 Yellow Dodge was intact with the team looking for a strong race performance.
On the first lap, pole-sitter Kevin Harvick got a jump on the field and pulled away quickly. With each passing lap, however McMurray moved closer to Harvick, leaving the rest of the field further behind. That was before the "Lady in Black," as Darlington is known, struck Team Yellow with a fatal blow.
Although the Yellow Racing crew went to work in the garage trying to repair the damage, it became apparent that the Lady in Black would extract her revenge for the team's early season success. The car could not return safely to the competition, and Yellow Racing was forced to call it an early day. Brian Vickers went on to win the race; his teammate Kyle Busch was second, and Michael Waltrip finished third.
"It's always hard when you end up out of the race early. This particular car had finished in the top ten each race it had run this season, which makes it that much more disappointing," driver Jamie McMurray said. "Something unusual happened, because I just drove into turn four and the car would not turn. This team is very safety conscious so I am sure we'll figure out exactly what happened and do whatever we can to prevent it from happening again."
Car Chief Jon Wolfe said, "We always keep a winning attitude, and this car was so strong. I'm anxious to figure out what happened to end our day early. We all want to perform well each and every week; consistency is a big part of what makes us a front running team."
This upcoming Friday night, Yellow Racing returns to Richmond International Raceway (RIR). During the 2001 season, Yellow Racing owned Richmond by posting two wins. In the first RIR race this season, driver David Stremme took top rookie honors, posting a 14th place finish. Stremme made a few "friends" that evening in some close racing on the three-quarter mile track.
Watch for more close racing Friday night as Stremme looks to advance the team's standing in the owner's championship (Yellow Racing is seventh) and his own hunt for rookie of the year honors. Stremme is currently locked in a close battle for third position after only 10 races.
The Funai 250 at Richmond International Raceway will be held on Friday, September 5. The race will air live on TNT and be broadcast on MRN beginning at 8:00 p.m. EDT. Qualifying for the event will take place Thursday, September 4 at 3:00 p.m. EDT and will be aired on the Speed Channel.