(April 1, 2008) – Jamie McMurray picked a perfect time and place to end his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winless skid – under the lights at historic Daytona International Speedway.
In last July’s Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, McMurray picked up his first Sprint Cup Series win since October of 2002, a losing streak of 166 races. He nipped Kyle Busch at the start/finish line by .005 seconds, the second closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history.
The Daytona victory, which was the second of his career, is still fresh in his mind.
“I remember taking off from here in July at 3 in the morning or whatever,” McMurray said. “There’s not really anything that compares to Daytona. Certainly winning at Charlotte at home is a big deal and winning at the Brickyard would be a big deal but Daytona, that’s our race. The only one bigger for me would be winning the (Daytona) 500.”
When McMurray won his first career Sprint Cup Series victory in Charlotte in 2002, it was only his second career Sprint Cup Series start as he was subbing for an injured Sterling Marlin.
The unique situation of filling in for an injured driver and being so fresh to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series scene didn’t let McMurray truly appreciate the experience of winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
“I savored it, yes I did” McMurray says of his Daytona win. “I remember it really well. When I won Charlotte, it was an odd circumstance because I was subbing for Sterling. You were trying to be grateful because you were in someone else’s ride and you didn’t get to enjoy it with your team. Now I get to enjoy it with my team.”
McMurray will try to join Fireball Roberts, A.J. Foyt, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson and Tony Stewart as the fifth driver to notch back-to-back victories in the 50th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday night, July 5, part of a triple header of races on the Independence Day holiday weekend at “The World Center of Racing.”
On Friday night, July 4, the NASCAR Nationwide Series will take center stage at DIS with the seventh annual Winn-Dixie 250 Powered By Coca-Cola. A star-studded lineup of drivers such as Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, David Reutimann, Denny Hamlin, Bobby Hamilton Jr., Kenny Wallace and heralded rookie Joey Logano will do battle on the high banks in the 100-lap, 250-mile event. Earlier in the day, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will qualify for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola in 7-Eleven Qualifying Day.
Following a pair of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice sessions, the 27th Brumos Porsche 250 Rolex Sports Car Series race is slated for Thursday, July 3 at 8 p.m. The 70-lap, 250-mile will feature the Daytona Prototypes and the GT machines in a sprint race on the legendary twists and turns of the 3.56-mile road course.