Jamie McMurray doesn’t win often, but watch out when he does; he can close the deal on some big ones.
The driver of the No. 1 came alive in the final segment of the Sprint All-Star Race and claimed the victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He was thrown into contention by his crew’s stellar performance on the final four-tire pit stop, which was mandatory. He crushed Kevin Harvick’s and Carl Edwards’ efforts and took home the checkered.
McMurray’s win emphasizes his stealth when it comes to the big events. He has now won the Daytona 500,the Brickyard 400, and now the All-Star Race. Add the Coca-Cola 600 and the Southern 500, and it’s a record other drivers would kill to claim. Stats like these could throw him into Hall of Fame conversation. However, is it warranted?
Like I said, his record is nothing to ignore, and he’s done it with a B-list team. Chip Ganassi Racing, an organization who is now running Hendrick motors, has always been resting underneath the surface. This season is the time for a breakthrough; McMurray has an intelligent crew chief in Keith Rodden, Kyle Larson is maturing rapidly, and the horsepower is there. All these factors can catapult the team ¾and McMurray— to a spot on the A-list.
If he’ll ever secure himself in NASCAR history as a Hall of Famer, now’s the time.
The All-Star Race had some great moments, with impressive showings by Harvick, Edwards, and even Kasey Kahne, although he suffered issues after his performance in the sun. What the No. 5 team hit on will most likely be used next weekend as the team hopes to rebound.
How did the event fare overall? Well, it had some good and bad qualities. Moving the Sprint Showdown to Friday night wasn’t a great decision; I can see what direction they wanted to go in, but it became a hassle. Also, Fox Sports 1 didn’t do a good job of advertising the switch, so people were dumbfounded. There were points of great racing, but the last segment erased it. My suggestion is to shorten the final segment and make it more of a Green-White-Checkered deal. THAT will keep the excitement going.
McMurray is known for being a driver who isn’t afraid to cry in victory lane. If he got into the Hall of Fame, I bet waterfalls would pour from his eyes. It’s a make or break season for this chance, and the first domino fell Saturday night.