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NASCAR Cup: Daytona 500 likely Jamie McMurray’s last race

By AMANDA VINCENT

The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 17 is likely to be the final Cup Series race for McMurray, judging by recent comments made by McMurray and car owner Chip Ganassi.

“Well, first of all, I do expect Jamie to stick around, yes,” Ganassi said during a teleconference last week, announcing Kurt Busch as McMurray’s replacement in the No. 1 Chevrolet in 2019. “And as we talked about, we are going to have some announcements forthcoming on that subject.”

Ganassi has offered McMurray a car for the Daytona 500 and, then, an advisory/managerial role within CGR. McMurray hasn’t officially announced his 2019 plans, but his comments during the Homestead-Miami Speedway season-finale race weekend in November implied an acceptance of Ganassi’s offer.

“I had opportunities to drive; they just weren’t opportunities I wanted,” McMurray said. “I was fighting for one of the (open) rides. There was a point that, honestly, I looked at it, and I was like, ‘I don’t know that I want them to call me back.’ I was fighting, because I thought it was the right thing to do, but I wanted to drive (for Ganassi). I like this team, and I have so much history. I didn’t want to bounce somewhere else for a year and be unhappy.”

McMurray has spent the bulk of his Cup racing career driving Ganassi-owned cars since he embarked on the series late in the 2002 season as a substitute for the injured Sterling Marlin. He went full-time the following season, replacing Marlin. Aside from a three-year period between 2006 and 2008 during which he drove a Roush Fenway Racing entry, McMurray has been a Ganassi driver, including a period of time upon his return from RFR when Ganassi teamed with Teresa Earnhardt to form Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing. Earnhardt eventually bowed out, and the race team returned to its Chip Ganassi Racing moniker.

McMurray has seven wins as a Cup Series driver, with six of those coming as a Ganassi driver. He claimed his first of those wins in his second-career series start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He also won the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in 2010. His most recent win came at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in 2013.

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Posted by on December 11, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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