Friday, September 26, 2014

McMurray Unwilling To Play "What If" With 2014 Success

Jamie McMurray failed to qualify for the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, despite a solid, Top-10 finish in the final regular-season race at Richmond International Raceway. Since then, the Joplin, Mo., driver has added two more Top-10 performances at Chicagoland and New Hampshire, prompting many to wonder whether he might have challenged for the Sprint Cup title, had things gone just a little bit different in the months of August and September.

“I don’t live my life on `what if’s,’” insisted McMurray today at Dover International Speedway. “We have that every weekend in racing. Our group has run extremely well all year long, and the last few weeks it has been showcased more. It seems like the last five or six races we have been able to run well at the beginning of the race and put a finish together. We have just been a little more consistent.”
McMurray said his 2014 success – and that of rookie teammate Kyle Larson – has been ever more gratifying than the 2010 season, when he won most of the sport’s premiere events.
“The part that I am most encouraged about is that in 2010 -- when we won the (Daytona) 500, the Brickyard, Charlotte and Watkins Glen -- there were a lot of unknowns. Why? Why were we running so well? They really hadn’t changed a lot from 2009, and 2010 was just a really good year for us. Some of it had to do with the engines, as I think the ECR engines were the best at that time. But there were a lot of unknowns at our shop (about), ‘Why are we running so much better?’ Then we went through a tough couple of years.
“But when I look at this year, everything has scienced-out,” he said. “The reasons (for our success) are lots of testing, the simulation program (and) our wind tunnel testing. Everything is known about why we are running better. So that is awesome leading into next year, because we know why.  And they know the areas that we need to work on to make the cars better.”
McMurray said he is confident that a revised rules package for the season will not slow his team’s roll.
“Even though it’s a couple of inches on the spoiler and on the radiator pan, I don’t think that is going to change who is running well and who is not,” he said. “It’s really going to be just about getting the balance of the car back. I am really not concerned about that, because we know why we are running so much better this year, versus last year and the year before.”

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