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Texas Weekend

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« on: November 06, 2007, 03:52:07 pm »

McMurray Earns Ninth Top-10 of Season at Texas Motor Speedway
Jamie McMurray and the No. 26 Crown Royal Special Reserve Ford Fusion Racing Team
Texas Motor Speedway/November 4, 2007

DENTON, TEXAS (November 4, 2007) – It was a “Special” weekend for Jamie McMurray and the No. 26 Crown Royal Special Reserve team not only because of their new gold paint scheme, but because of great calls in the pits, solid pit stops throughout the day and avoiding two major accidents on the speedway.  After 334 laps around the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway, McMurray wheeled home a ninth-place finish.  This afternoon’s run marks McMurray’s ninth top 10 of the season.

Following “Happy Hour” practice on Saturday afternoon, the No. 26 Crown Royal team knew they had a solid car capable of running extremely well in Sunday’s Dickies 500.  After a few minor adjustments to the car on Sunday morning, the team patiently awaited the start of the 334-lap race.

McMurray started the race on the outside line, in the 24th position.  McMurray, who sported a new paint scheme for this Sunday’s race, was excited about the race car he had underneath him as it had performed really well in both practices the day before.  Entering the race, McMurray noted to crew chief Larry Carter that the car struggled a bit on short runs, but once the tires heated up a little, the car was very strong.

After taking the green flag before an estimated 183,500 fans, the gold and purple Special Reserve Ford Fusion took a few laps to “warm up,” but continued to become faster as the runs grew longer.

When the first caution flag was displayed on lap 15, McMurray had already moved up six positions and was scored 18th.  A call in the pits to only take two tires moved McMurray into the 11th position. 

Over the course of the ensuing run, McMurray noted to crew chief Carter the car was still too loose both entering and through the center of the corner.  Carter told McMurray they would continue to adjust on the car until they found the right balance.  During the next pit stop on lap 36, the team once again changed two tires and this time made a wedge adjustment to the No. 26 machine. 

The adjustment seemed to help McMurray, but when the team came into pit, a number of cars remained on the track.  The move dropped McMurray back to his original starting position.  Carter came over the radio and told McMurray they would be alright and there were still a lot of laps left to race.  Both McMurray and the team kept good spirits as the race carried on.

On lap 145, as the field exited turn two, two cars ahead of McMurray made contact and went spinning down the backstretch.  McMurray dove low on the track and came within feet of being caught in the accident.  A quick call by the spotter and a heads up move by the driver helped avoid an early end to the day.

As the sun began to set over the Texas Motor Speedway, the handling of McMurray’s Ford Fusion changed from a loose condition to a tight condition entering the corners.  On lap 213, the caution flag was displayed for a wreck on the backstretch.  During the caution period, McMurray and Carter determined on the following pit stop, they would make a small air pressure adjustment, as well as a wedge adjustment to the No. 26 car.

On lap 218, just two laps following the restart, a wreck started ahead of McMurray.  Blinded by the smoke, McMurray’s spotter quickly came over the radio and directly McMurray to the low side of the track and then told McMurray to quickly speed up to avoid other race cars from hitting him from behind.  McMurray avoided the mess and escaped unscathed. 

During the next caution period, Carter again told McMurray to continue to run his race, hit his marks and the finish would come to him.  And that’s exactly what McMurray did.  Over the next 100 laps, McMurray focused on working his No. 26 Crown Royal Special Reserve Ford back into the top 10. 

On lap 298, just four laps away from having to make a green-flag stop, the No. 11 car spun in turn two bringing out the final caution flag of the evening.  As McMurray came down pit road for fuel, Carter called for a two-tire stop.  The 6.8-second pit stop by the Crown Royal team moved McMurray up from the 11th position, into the fourth position.   

During the final run the evening, McMurray maintained his top-10 position and as the checkered flag flew for Jimmie Johnson, the No. 26 Crown Royal Special Reserve Ford Fusion followed behind in the ninth position.

“The No. 26 Crown Royal Special Reserve Ford Fusion was strong for us the entire day,” said McMurray following the race.  “If we just could have figured out how to get the car to run a little bit better on colder tires, I think could have a stronger finish.  Other than that, I’m glad we were able to finish in the top 10, bring home the car in one piece and have a great run for the Crown Royal folks who were down here in Texas this weekend.  I’ve said for the last few weeks that we’ve had strong cars and today we were able to prove that.”

Next weekend, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series continues its westward journey to Phoenix International Raceway.  In the spring race, McMurray started from the outside pole.  The No. 26 team hopes for the same success next Sunday.  The action begins at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on ABC/MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio.


Checker Auto Parts 500
Phoenix International Raceway (One-mile speedway)
Avondale, Ariz.
Sunday, November 11, 2007

About Roush Fenway Racing

Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating 14 motorsports teams, five in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; five in the Busch Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Todd Kluever, Michel Jourdain Jr. and Danny O’Quinn Jr.; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Edwards, Peter Shepherd, Travis Kvapil, Erik Darnell and T.J. Bell; and one in the ARCA/REMAX Series with Colin Braun and Darnell.

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