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NASCAR Winston Cup Preview

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Winston Cup

NASCAR Winston Cup Preview

Jamie McMurray
January 18, 2003


DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA

Q. Jamie, you had a great start last year filling in for Sterling. Now, it's your rookie season, a full season with your own team. How are things are shaping up for the new team?

JAMIE MCMURRAY: Yes, I mean with what I got to do last year with Sterling's car, I think that made it easier for me, the fact that team had been together and won races earlier in the season. Of course, I'm looking forward to the season and having my own race team. I've had the opportunity to hang out with my guys and with Donnie (Wingo, crew chief). We all seem to be getting together very well and we've been through three or four tests. We feel everything is working out well. Everything at Ganassi is pretty much the same. I'm going to have the same car as I had last year when I drove for Sterling with the No. 40 team. It kind of hurts that I'm ready to get the speedway testing out of the way. It's so boring to go to those places, ride around for three laps, and then wait in line for 30 minutes and ride around for three more laps. We are going to Rockingham, Vegas and Atlanta and Arlington (Texas) to test. So I'm looking forward to going to all of those.

Q. There is talk about, at some point down the road, cutting the down force and softening the tires back up which supposedly would be going back to the way the cars were a few years ago. Do you guys have any feel about that or do you just show up and drive whatever rules NASCAR gives you?

JAMIE MCMURRAY: I kind of wish they would leave it alone. I feel at Ganassi they have a pretty good handle on this tire and the way our bodies are right now. So I mean personally, I wish it would just stay the way it is. We are racecar drivers, so we are all going to do it no matter what. You never know if they do change it our team would hit on something there; maybe we wouldn't. That is kind of the way it is there.

Q. You are one of the younger drivers, more attuned to the computer generation, that type of thing, and I know during testing today, they hook everything up on these cars; they are running three or four computers on a car. Do you feel the fact that you have come up with computers and this type of racing that you may actually have an edge over some of the older drivers when testing wasn't that sophisticated; you are more attuned to a little bit of the new technology out there?

JAMIE MCMURRAY: Well, if you can't read the computer, it really doesn't do you all that much good. I'm still pretty much new to that even though I got to grow up with it. This year I feel at Ganassi, it is the first time we had engineers that are capable of actually translating the data to the drivers. With my Busch team last year, we had all of the computers but we didn't really have anyone that we felt was smart enough to read it. We were making a lot of data and printing a lot of pieces of paper out. This year and at the last two tests, it has been somewhat helpful. I don't feel like it's been a huge advantage for me. No.



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