Jamie McMurray Hoping to Score Win to Secure Chase Bid

Heading into this weekend, Jamie McMurray is one of the drivers hoping to reach victory lane so that way he can stamp his ticket for the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

“I feel like our cars have been really good at the mile and a half, all of them this year,” he commented earlier this week. “That’s a little bit of a unique track because we only go there once a year. It certainly is — has the most fall-off of any track we go to as far as the tires go.

“So it’s just like anywhere else. It will be like being in the right position after the last pit stop and hoping everything falls your way.”

There is the opportunity for McMurray to do it as he qualified 15th and has been strong at Atlanta in the past with four top-10 finishes in 20 starts. He also notes that his team “tends to run better than where we’ve finished” as they haven’t been able to master adjusting the car on the last pit stop and putting themselves in position. As a result, he only has two top-fives and seven top-10s in the 24 races this far this season.

“If we can just put a whole weekend together and be able to finish off as well as or better than we ran throughout the race, yeah, I feel like the next two races should be really good for us.  I hope we’re able to put it all together in one of those,” he commented. ”

McMurray is also hopeful following a solid test at Chicagoland, where he felt that his team learned some things for this weekend.

“There were a lot of teams there — all the Roush, Stewart-Haas, Michael Waltrip. And there was a lot of cars there, so they put a little rubber down. And we had a little bit of everything with rain multiple times and then also just incredibly hot temperatures. So you kind of got to see everything the track was going to do,” he comemnted. “And it was — you know, it’s good, I felt like, to have the 4 car there. He’s been — you know, I would say, if you had to pick a car all year long that’s been the fastest raw speed, the 4 car’s been that guy. So it was nice to kind of have a baseline to know what’s probably going to be fast when you go back.

“So I thought we had a really good test.”

Though, while the opportunity looms large, it can sometimes bring added pressure. McMurray says that hasn’t been the case so far as he hasn’t lain awake at night thinking of his chances.

“I mean, you just race everything single week to win,” he added. “So even though we’re down to two races, it’s really not any different than it was at the Daytona 500, the first race of the year. The goal is the same every week. You can’t really do anything different just because we’re down to two races.

“So, yeah, it’s just a regular weekend, and you go, and you perform your best.”

There is also the possibility of the intensity growing on track as the weeks tick by, though McMurray doesn’t see that either with people feeling tired right now due to the busy testing schedule.

“We tested Chicago the last two days, and after getting home from Bristol at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and then getting up at 5:00 a.m. to go to Chicago and test for two days, I think most of the people that are on that plan, we’re all worn out by the time we even get to Atlanta,” he noted. “So I don’t know if you have time really to worry about anything or have a different vibe. I think the Hendrick cars were at Martinsville this week. I think most of the garage is really busy, and you don’t have time to think about what’s going on. You’re just racing and testing and doing everything that goes along with that.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com


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