McMurray Takes Victory at Talladega
A multi-car wreck on the final lap of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Camping World 500 aided Jamie McMurray in taking the checkered flag at the Talladega Superspeedway event on Sunday, with Dale Earnhardt Jr and Rick Stenhouse Jr taking second and third places respectively. When rookie Austin Dillon lost control of his car on the final lap of the race, the resulting crash ruled out any chance of Earnhardt challenging McMurray’s position, allowing him to cross the finish line in first place for the first time in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race since 2010 when he won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Dillon had been running third behind McMurray and Earnhardt when he crashed, with the only other driver involved being Casey Mears.
One of the highlights of Jamie McMurray’s career was his first place spot in the 2002 UAW-GM Quality 500 – a race in which he led 96 of the final 100 laps and beat Bobby Labonte. He was a substitute driver for the event and it was his second Cup start. In 2010, he became one of only three drivers to have won both the Brickyard 400 and Daytona 500 in the same year. In 2003 McMurray focused on the Sprint Cup Series and won Rookie of the Year having had five top-5 finishes and finished 13th overall for the year.
McMurray has been driving the #1 Chevrolet for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing since 2010 – the year he won the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. In 2011 McMurray earned four top 10s and finished the season in the 27th spot in points, while the 2012 season saw him earn only three top tens. 2013 started off on a disappointing note as he crashed on lap 33 of the Daytona 500, finishing in 32nd place. His first top ten of the season was at Bristol, with his second being in Martinsville. He finished as runner-up to Matt Kenseth at Kentucky and took 11th place at New Hampshire. Although not part of the Chase, McMurray’s victory on Sunday reaffirms his skill as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver.
The current Top Ten in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings (in order) are: Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards.