Rockingham, NC--As was the case last weekend, Brewco Motorsports driver Jamie McMurray capitalized on other's misfortune and grabbed his second NASCAR Busch Series career victory. After a red flag following an accident in turn two, the field took...
Rockingham, NC--As was the case last weekend, Brewco Motorsports driver Jamie McMurray capitalized on other's misfortune and grabbed his second NASCAR Busch Series career victory. After a red flag following an accident in turn two, the field took the green with four laps left to race. As second place Michael Waltrip charged hard towards leader Jeff Green for his shot at the lead, his 99 Chevrolet and Green's 21 got together and spun, handing McMurray a go-ahead to victory lane at the North Carolina Speedway.
McMurray was as shocked as any at his luck the past two weeks while grabbing his Busch wins. "I cannot believe the luck that we've had. I knew we were good on a short run but I was so tight on that set of tires. I felt that we were going to run third. It's amazing what happened."
Early on, there were three distinctive lanes around the 1.017 -mile track. Waltrip was one of many that chose the high line, nearly scraping the wall coming off of turns three and four. While others chose the lower groove such as McMurray. McMurray's 27 Chevrolet would hug the white line guarding the apron through the turns.
Prior to the pit stops which began near the halfway point, the race was run fairly clean minus an early spin by Stanton Barrett. Green was one of the first to the pits as Waltrip and Innovative Motorsports driver Shane Hmiel both decided to pit two laps later on lap 96. Pole sitter Green held the lead through 35 laps before Michael Waltrip claimed laps 36-95 before his pit stop.
As Waltrip dropped to the pits, point leader Greg Biffle took over the lead to grab five bonus points. Following the cycle of pit stops, pole sitter Green once again had the lead.
Laps after the pit stops, the second caution of the day flew for debris. Green yet again led the field to the pits followed by Waltrip, Hmiel, McMurray, and Biffle, among others on the lead lap. Green's #21 crew were able to keep the car in the lead.
With less than 30 to go, Jason Keller in the ppc Ford saw his championship hopes fly out of the window as he dipped to the pits after suffering a vibration.After the stop, the crew found the right front tire had worked itself loose. Keller fell to 27th on track and lost serious ground in the points as he now trails Greg Biffle by 212. As he enters the final two races minus a championship charge, his goal is now to "try not to lose second."
After Keller's problems, the caution flew after Kertus Davis scraped the wall. Under the yellow, Green led the lead lap cars to the pits for one final round of stops. Green once again won the race off of pit road as Biffle followed in second.
The green flag flew with 16 to go. Entering the backstretch off of turn number two, Biffle and the lapped car of Ron Hornaday exchanged paint forcing Biffle high. Waltrip and McMurray then took position from the 60.
On the same lap as the second and third positions exchanged hands, Kerry Earnhardt bounced off of the wall through turn three. The yellow then flew for the fourth time.
The field took a single file green flag restart with 10 to go. But was unable to stay green through the finish.With seven to go Earnhardt was involved in another incident as his #12 and the #02 of Hermie Sadler got together in turn two while battling for position.The rear-end of Sadler's car slammed the wall hard and pushed the fuel cell underneath the deck-lid. The race was then halted under red flag conditions for clean-up.
Once the red flag was lifted, the field took the green with a handful of laps left to run. As the green flew, Waltrip snuck up on the rear of Green's 21. Running off of turns three and four, Waltrip attempted to pass, Waltrip and Green spun, handing McMurray his second straight victory.
Greg Biffle finished second and voiced his opinion that his second place run along with Keller's problems, "clinched the championship in our eyes. We're going to be celebrating that tonight." Veteran Randy LaJoie finished third with David Green and Stacy Compton closing out the top five.
Jeff Green and Waltrip ended up sixth and seventh after their late race misfortune. Teammates Shane Hmiel and Kenny Wallace finished eighth and ninth while Jack Sprague drove his 24 machine to 10th.