Jamie McMurray Wins First Career Sprint All Star Race And $1 Millionby Hunter Thomas May 18, 2014 0 comments
CONCORD, NC – Jamie McMurray continues to impress at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.
On Saturday night during the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, McMurray led 21 laps en route to not only his first career victory in the non-points event but also the first for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. In 2010, McMurray won both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400, but last night’s victory was just as big.
“Yeah, this is just really awesome moment,” Jamie McMurray said. “It’s so much different than winning the Daytona 500 or the Brickyard because there are no points, and I think the mentality going into that last segment is just all or nothing, and that was my thought process. I am like, I don’t really care if we wreck, I don’t care what happens, I’m racing for a million dollars, I get to start on the front row and I’m going to make the very most out of the restart and everything that goes with this.
“It was awesome. It’s three or four of the hardest laps I’ve ever driven in my racing career, and it’s one of those memories that I hope I never forget. I have such a clear vision of those three or four laps with the 99 car being on the inside of me, and it’s what we wake up every single day and live for is to get to be put in that exact position. It’s really awesome.”
Jamie McMurray said in post-race that his earnings from the $1 million purse will go towards his two kid’s college education, as well as any future children’s. Although McMurray is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver with a full-time ride, he’s very humble and understands that it can all end in a blink of an eye.
“I’m going to send my two kids and probably my next child that’s not here yet to school,” McMurray said. “Honest to God, that’s what I’ve thought about. School is really expensive, and you guys don’t know this about me probably but I’m very frugal, just outright tight and I’m paranoid about money every day of my life, and I thought about — I’ve looked at what school costs, and college and just getting to college, and it’s most likely going to go to that.”
The morning of the Sprint All-Star race, McMurray was sitting at the table eating breakfast with his wife and two kids when a conversation was struck up about what would Carter, McMurray’s son would do with the $1 million if the No. 1 team was able to find Victory Lane. All Carter asked for, was a train set. So, I guess Carter will end up getting his train set, but it’s the little moments that McMurray finds most rewarding in life. Even after winning the Daytona 500 back in 2010, McMurray was so lost for words and humbled to be in Victory Lane that he said he and his wife were going to have a Big Mac at McDonalds.
“I can’t wait to get home and see them in the morning and bring the trophy home and get to share that moment with Carter,” McMurray said. Carter doesn’t quite get winning and losing. After the Talladega race where we ripped the splitter off our car and we’re like 10 laps down and we almost got them all back, I was a little frustrated after the race, and went back to my motor home and I’m going to take my suit off. I walk in the bus, I open the door, and Carter is standing on the ottoman in our bus, and I walk in and he puts both of his hands in the air, and he’s like, Dad, Denny Hamlin won, woohoo! Like he’s excited. I’m like, Carter, I love you.”
So far this season, McMurray and his team have been competitive but have had issues closing and earning the finishes that they’re capable of. The team has two top-10 finishes this season. After starting third at Phoenix International Raceway during the second race of the season, McMurray brought the car home in the 10th position. Three weekends later, he captured a sixth place finish at Auto Club Speedway. However, what has the team mired back in the points are two DNFs. McMurray currently sits 24th in the point standings.
“I feel like I’m harder on myself probably than anyone else is, and when you go through the garage and you look at drivers who are with really good teams, some of them are having bad years, and if you think that they’re not doubting their ability or down on themselves, they are, because that’s just the way our sport works,” McMurray said. “I think it’s the same way, whether it’s golf or baseball. I think when you’re not doing well, you always wonder if you’re capable of competing at this level.”
McMurray’s highest finish in the Sprint All-Star Race previous to last night was an eighth, but the Joplin, Missouri native has two career wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The first coming in 2002 and the second, October of 2010. Last year the team finished 19th in the Coca-Cola 600, but with momentum coming from last night’s victory, look for the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team to be contenders this upcoming weekend. The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race of the season, so there’s plenty of time to adjust and make something happen.