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Checker Auto Parts 500 ~ Arizona Travel 200

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« on: November 06, 2007, 06:01:12 pm »


Checker Auto Parts 500 - Jamie McMurray Notes
Jamie McMurray
Phoenix International Raceway
One-mile speedway located in Avondale, Ariz.

NNCS: Checkered Auto Parts 500; Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007


Elusive Finish? Phoenix International Raceway is the only track where Jamie McMurray has yet to post a top-10 finish. His best finish came in November of 2003 when he finished 12th at the one-mile speedway.
McMurray posted his ninth top-10 finish of the 2007 season last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. McMurray has currently posted nine top-10 finishes, three top fives, and one NEXTEL Cup win in 2007.
This weekend, McMurray will participate in IRWIN Industrial Tools’ “Ultimate Tradesman Challenge” championship on Sunday morning. Over 9,000 tradesmen have competed in the challenge and this weekend the three regional finalists will compete for the ultimate prize – a shot at winning $1.26 million, a BBQ with McMurray and a Roush Performance Ford F-150 through the competition.
McMurray will pilot the No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion in Sunday’s race. This will mark McMurray’s last weekend in the IRWIN blue and yellow colors for 2007.

Jamie McMurray - NNCS ADVANCE
Team: No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK – 507 Brand New Chassis
Backup: RK – 462 - Last raced at Martinsville; April 2007; Finished ninth

McMurray on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
“Over the years, I have had some bad luck at Phoenix – I don’t know what it is about the track. It’s not that I haven’t learned how to get around there; it just always seems that something stops us from having a good run there. In the spring, we had a great car, sat on the outside pole, and then we had a windshield tear off get caught on the nose of the car, which forced us to pit and go a lap down. Hopefully, this can be the weekend that we break the curse and have a better run at Phoenix.

“This is a big weekend for IRWIN Industrial Tools and their ‘Ultimate Tradesman Challenge.’ We have participated in the challenge all season long and this Sunday we’ll crown a champion.

“Over the last month and a half, the No. 26 team has had some pretty good cars, just not the best luck. Last weekend we finished in the top 10, which was great for us. If everything goes our way this weekend, we should have a pretty good run in our No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion.”

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:

“Phoenix is a challenging track to set up for; especially with the car of tomorrow. We had some trouble with our brakes at Martinsville, and with Phoenix being a race that you depend on your brakes a lot, we can't have that same problem happen again. We took a look at everything back at the shop and are bringing a new brake package this weekend. In the spring race at Phoenix, we had some weird things happen to us. We had an air gun fail during a pit stop, and then we had someone’s tear off end up on the nose of the No. 26 car. It was a long day. Hopefully, with all the engineering work we have done both in testing and back at the shop, we will have a pretty good handle on the car for this weekend’s race. It would be great to post a strong finish for IRWIN Industrial Tools during their championship weekend.”
« Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 06:04:21 pm by Darnell99Fan » Report Spam   Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2007, 11:01:03 am »

McMurray Finishes 23rd at Phoenix International Raceway
No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion Recap

AVONDALE, Ariz. (November 11, 2007) – Roush Fenway Racing driver Jamie McMurray faced an afternoon of handling issues on his No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion. McMurray started this afternoon’s Checker Auto Parts 500 from the 23rd position and went on to finish in the same position. Although the team did not have the best day on track, they were able to avoid trouble and make it to the end of the race. With the top-25 finish, the No. 26 team moved up one position to 17th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.

Immediately after unloading the No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion, the team was very pleased with the performance, as McMurray had the fastest car in the opening session. After qualifying, McMurray noted the car was too tight, but still qualified 23rd for Sunday’s race.

Before an estimated crowd of 105,000 fans, 43 cars roared to the green flag for the start of a 312-lap race around the one-mile speedway. Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards led the field to the green flag.

Early into the first run, McMurray noted the handling was a bit loose and the brakes were shaking a bit. McMurray asked crew chief Larry Carter to monitor his lap times, as he tried various lines on the speedway. During the first caution period for a spinning race car on the frontstretch, the No. 26 IRWIN team took the opportunity to change four tires, add fuel and make a slight air pressure adjustment to the car.

Following the pit stop, McMurray restarted the race in the 17th position and noted the car was still “a little loose entering the corner and becoming tight through the center.” Carter radioed back to McMurray with the changes they would make during the next pit stop.

When the second caution of the day was displayed on lap 85 for debris on the track, McMurray again brought his No. 26 Ford Fusion down pit road for service. This time, Carter called for four tires, fuel, a track bar adjustment and an air pressure adjustment in the right-rear tire.

Early into the following run, McMurray noted the car was a little better, but becoming tighter in the corners. On the following stop, the No. 26 team went back on their previous adjustment, in hopes of providing additional track grip for McMurray.

The intended changes to the No. 26 machine didn’t seem to help McMurray. As the race continued on and the sun began to set over the one-mile speedway, the track seemed to change. McMurray radioed to the team that his car was extremely tight now and did not turn like he needed it to. McMurray still maintained his top-20 running position.

Following the final pit stop of the day on lap 282, McMurray exited pit road in the 20th position. With just a handful of laps remaining, it was everything McMurray could do to maintain his position. The ill-handling race car caused McMurray to lose three positions and finish in the 23rd position when the checkered flag flew over Phoenix International Raceway.

“We just could not get a handle on our No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion,” said McMurray following the race. “The handling was completely off this afternoon. I know that Larry and Derek (Stamets) did everything they could to make the handling better, but it just didn’t seem like anything worked for us. We were able to maintain our position on the speedway, but never felt like we could move forward. We finished the race and were able to learn some stuff about the car of tomorrow, but we weren’t competitive today. We’ll take it back to the shop and look forward to next weekend in Miami.”

Next weekend in Homestead, Fla., the 38-week NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season comes to an end. The No. 26 team will prepare for the season’s final run, as well as the last run in the current car style. The 1.5-mile speedway plays host to the Ford Championship weekend, with the action beginning on Friday for NEXTEL Cup qualifying at 3:00 p.m.

Ford 400
Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile Speedway)
Homestead, Fla.
Sunday, November 18, 2007

McMurray Takes a Spin Down the Front Stretch, But Still Earns a Top-10 Finish in Phoenix Busch Race

AVONDALE, Ariz. (November 10, 2007) – Jamie McMurray had a great start to the weekend with a strong showing in practice and a fifth-place qualifying effort, but handling problems would plague the team the entire 200-lap event. The Dish Network Ford Fusion was loose the entire race and nothing seemed to tighten it up. Just when it seemed like they had McMurray got tagged from behind on a green-flag restart and took a spin down the front stretch. Luckily the damage was minimal and McMurray remained on the lead lap and battled back for a ninth-place finish.

The opening laps of Saturday’s Arizona.Travel 200 were caution filled, but McMurray maintained his track position from his qualifying effort of fifth. He had slipped back slightly to sixth by the time the third caution was displayed just 22 laps into the 200-lap event. Under caution McMurray reported back to his crew that he was a little loose in and would really like to run about 40 laps to see what he had, but he had a feeling there would be more cautions prohibiting the long green-flag runs, he was right.

The field restarted on lap 30 and McMurray continued to slowly drop back due to the handling of his Ford. The fourth caution came out on lap 43 and McMurray was now back being scored in the ninth position. The car was still loose into the turns, but now was tight in the middle too. McMurray pitted under caution for four tires, fuel, a track bar and an air pressure adjustment. His team gained one spot for him in the race off pit road, but some drivers stayed out during the caution which left McMurray sitting 12th for the restart on lap 48. McMurray quickly made his way back into the top 10, but was still much looser than he wanted to be.

The loose condition continued to plague McMurray, and developed into a loose in and tight everywhere else situation. McMurray dropped back to 12th and did the best he could to turn in fast lap times until the next caution was displayed on lap 115 for debris. McMurray pitted under caution for four tires, fuel, two rounds down on the track bar and an air pressure adjustment. This time around his team gained two positions on pit road, setting him up 10th for the green-flag restart on lap 122.

Once again the caution flag was displayed just 10 laps later with McMurray still in 10th. Unfortunately, this time around, on the restart McMurray got run over from behind and sent spinning down the front stretch. The spin collected a few other competitors and quickly brought the caution back out. McMurray came down pit road for four tires and fuel so his team could assess the damage to his Ford. The red flag came out while McMurray was on pit road, so his team could only survey the damage and not touch the vehicle. They put together a plan to fix the right-rear quarter panel and the handling for McMurray.

As soon as the yellow came out the No. 26 Dish Network team went to work fixing the damage and giving McMurray a track bar adjustment. All of which was done without losing a lap. The field once again went to green on lap 141 with McMurray now back to 23rd. The loose-handling condition continued, but McMurray continued to work his way up through the field.

With 19 laps remaining the caution came out again with McMurray sitting 19th. He came down pit road for what he thought was a two-tire stop while his team was expecting to change four tires. Four tires handle better than two at Phoenix, but luckily with so few laps remaining the lack of new left-side tires didn’t hinder McMurray too much. He continued to move forward through the field and ultimately finished ninth.

“That was an interesting day out there.” said McMurray. “I don’t really know what to say. We were just off on the handling all day and couldn’t get it where we needed it to be. Then getting hit from behind and spun around on a restart didn’t help our situation much. My team did a great job getting me fixed up and back on the track and adjusting on my handling. A top 10 in the Dish Network Ford Fusion was pretty good today, but hopefully we can do even better next weekend in Homestead.”

Ford 300
Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-miles speedway)
Homestead, Fla.
Saturday, November 17, 2007

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