McMurray Barrel Rolls and Tops Chart in Final Practice

*THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED TO NOTE THAT NASCAR HAS CHANGED THE SIZE OF THE RESTRICTOR PLATES IN THE CUP CARS THIS WEEKEND, FOLLOWING JAMIE MCMURRAY’S WRECK.

TALLADEGA, Ala. — Outside the infield care center at Talladega Superspeedway, Jamie McMurray stood by the guard rails and watched a replay of the backstretch barrel roll that sent him to the care center.

“I think that we blew a left-rear tire. I don’t know. That’s what it sounded like. I heard the tire start to come apart, and you’re kind of along for the ride. The car, I think it turned to the right and then kind of back to the left. Obviously, I was in the front of that draft. Once it starts rolling, you don’t have any control. You can’t tell what’s up and what’s down. You’re spinning so fast. I was just thankful. Honestly, the whole time it’s flipping, I was like ‘Just please land the right way up so I can get out.’ You just never know if there’s going to be a fire. We literally had only run like four or five laps. You know you have a full tank of fuel. To get out upside-down, I’ve never done that. But it’s a challenge when you watch guys try to do that. So I was thankful that the car landed on all four.”

McMurray had only completed five laps in final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, when he suffered a left-rear tire failure, spun-out and got airborne. Compounding the matter, Ryan Newman t-boned him just as he was getting airborne, sending him rolling right over the front of Newman’s car and landing on the hood of his car.

McMurray rolled over two and a half times before the catch fence stopped him, accelerating his roll down the apron until he came to a halt.

Along with Newman, Ty Dillon and Daniel Suarez collected damage.

McMurray’s barrel roll wreck prompted NASCAR to reduce the size of the restrictor plates in the Cup cars this weekend from 7/8th’s of an inch to 55/64th’s of an inch.

Ironically, McMurray ended the session at the top of the chart, with a time of 46.947 and a speed of 203.975 mph.

Dillon, Suarez, Erik Jones and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the Top-five.

First practice results

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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

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."

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