Big Mac at the “Track too tough to tame”.

It’s in the books. Denny Hamlin picked up his 3rd win of the season tonight in the Showtime Southern 500. That isn’t what impressed me though.

Coming off a third place finish in the Nationwide race the night before (which Hamlin also won) and a record setting pace to win the Coors Light Pole Award at Darlington, Jamie McMurray was setting up for a great weekend!

The green flag fell as McMurray and Jeff Gordon led the 43 car field to the green in one of NASCAR’s most prestigious races. Gordon moved around McMurray to lead the first lap and the most laps on the night, but a lace race pit mistake ruined his chance of putting the 24 car in victory lane (On a side note, Jimmie Johnson was wrecked tonight and I couldn’t help but notice the simultaneous applause across NASCAR nation, especially in my head).

The #1 McDonald’s Chevy was in the top 10 all night long with the majority spent in the top 5 and leading many laps.

In the end, Jamie McMurray held off a late race charge from Kurt Busch to finish second and gain three spots in points to 16th, now only 39 points behind Dale Earnhardt Jr in 12th.

McMurray has won 4 races in his career, but I don’t recall him ever having as good of car for an entire race as he had tonight. From the drop of the green to the waving of the checkers, Jamie seemed to race in a way he is not exactly accustomed to: Consistently. He’s been good at the beginning, the middle, and the end of races throughout his career, but tonight seemed to be one of the first times in his career that he ran up front for an entire race.

Putting an entire race together has been a struggle for McMurray in his career, but this season has already shattered expectations for “Big Mac” in the first 11 races. With one win, two second places, and two poles already this year, Jamie McMurray has pieced together a potential run into the Chase which would be his first ever.

Nearly one third of the way into the 2010 season, JMac and the EGR #1 team find themselves 16th in points only 39 out of twelfth. He’s got momentum on the Cup side and on the Nationwide side, so these next 15 races will be fun to watch!

Being a McMurray fan over the years has been tough at times, but he is showing everyone why his fans have stuck behind him. We know he has the skill and drive to succeed and he now has the equipment to do so.

I see the struggles of Roush Fenway Racing this year and last then I look at the success of McMurray at Ganassi and I can’t help but laugh a little. From bottom of the totem pole to the top of a two man pedestal with Juan Pablo Montoya, Jamie McMurray has found his home and it is certainly showing.

For a full race report for Jamie McMurray, check out his official site.

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5 Responses

  1. Those of us who have followed Jamie for a long time thank you for this article, and the connection to JJ!1

    He WILL Chase this year, as he should have in ’04!1

    I wasn’t at all sure about it when he went back to Ganassi, but it was so much better than the alternative, but he is back home now, in MUCH BETTER EQUIPMENT than when he left to go to Roush.

    He didn’t succeed at Roush because they insisted on making him fit the Roush mold, – and to succeed at Roush, it has become abundantly apparent, a driver MUST come up through the Roush ranks.

    I’d be really happy when everyone is sick of the Jamie McMurray show, winning everything in sight!!!!!1

  2. I think McMurray’s driver suit sums up his and his fans emotions right now. “I’m lovin’ it.” I can’t wait for the Jamie McMurray show. People are better able to respect and cheer for someone who struggled mightily before succeeding. Gordon and Johnson basically won and dominated from the get-go, so if Jamie were to do what they’ve done, I feel people would embrace it more so since he had to “fall to come back stronger” and that is exactly what he has done.

  3. He has decidedly “paid his dues!!1” Everyone who pays any attention knows that he is not only an excellent driver, but a driver’s driver, (like Mark Martin,) and an all around good guy.

    I’ve been seeing some the “bandwagon riders” back again since the 500 win, but that boy needs to start getting the RESPECT he has both earned and deserves. It’s coming!!!1

  4. That’s one thing that he has never received much of – respect. Even when he’s winning and running good, people still aren’t giving him the respect he deserves. He’s gone from nearly unemployed to a Chase contender in a matter of months and he’s just now proving what us fans have known all along. That dude can drive a racecar and it’s only a matter of time before everyone realizes it. The Mac is back!

  5. He excels on the superspeedways, short tracks, road races, everywhere except the “cookie cutters.” Now that he’s winning on super speedways, they’ve forgotten what he can do on a road course. I still miss Rockingham, and I know he does too.

    He does need to zero in on those cookie cutters, there’ll be no stopping him then!!!1

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