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Apr 19, 2013 - 06:23 PM
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2013 Kansas Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup - Jamie McMurray
Posted by: ASkyler on Apr 19, 2013 - 06:19 PM
NASCAR News
2013 Kansas Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup - Jamie McMurray


JAIME MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS met with media and discussed the state of the EGR team; it’s turnaround this year, and more.

HOW WAS YOUR CAR IN PRACTICE?

"I thought we were really good in race trim. We changed a few things in qualifying and I thought we got a little bit behind. But by the end, I thought our car was good and we’re happy with it."

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA SAID TODAY THAT WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON WITH THE GANASSI CARS HAS BEEN BAD LUCK AND FAILED PARTS. HAS THERE BEEN MORE QUALITY CONTROL THERE?

"Well, unfortunately the No. 42 car has been on the receiving end of having the parts failures. The parts that they’ve broke are kind of one-off’s. I don’t think it’s a quality control issue. Unfortunately it’s just been really bad luck for them. So, yeah, I don’t think there is really anything that we’ve done wrong at our shop. It’s just unfortunate that both things happened to the No. 42 car early in the year."

 

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SO IF THEY WEREN’T HAVING THOSE TROUBLES, DO YOU THINK THE NO. 42 TEAM WOULD BE PUTTING UP SIMILAR RESULTS TO YOUR NO. 1 TEAM?

"Both our cars have been very similar, performance-wise. He ran really good at Bristol and had that fuel pump issue. But for the most part, our cars have been comparable."

MONTOYA SAID HE FEELS PRETTY GOOD ABOUT NEXT YEAR AND BEING BACK. WHERE DO YOU STAND ON ALL THAT?

"Oh, I don’t really have a comment on anything for next year. I’ focused on what we’re doing now. I’ve really tried hard not to talk about the length of my contract or when you resign one. I feel like the media takes a lot of that and runs with it and seems to use imagination to make more than what is fact. So I don’t have a comment about anything like that."

WHAT IS THE MAJOR REASON FOR THE TEAM TURNAROUND THIS YEAR?

"When we made all the changes in 2011, we hired a lot of new people and changed the way we go about a lot of items at the shop. I said at Media Day at the beginning of 2012 that it wasn’t going to be immediate. And it’s taken some time. Certainly this car I think has helped us. I feel like we hit on a few things at the Charlotte test in December or January, and it’s helped our 1.5-mile program, which is where we really struggled last year. And fortunately our short tack program has been pretty good all year. When I look back at my season, though, we ran really good at Martinsville but at Bristol, we really had about a 15-place car and the way the pit strategy worked out, we got a Top 10 out of it. But I feel like we’ve run better at the 1.5-miles than we have at the short tracks and we really had a great car last week. I made a mistake on pit road and got us a penalty and we never could recover from it. We’ve had a couple of instances where maybe we should have pitted once, and didn’t; and then next time we shouldn’t have pitted, and we did.

"But fortunately when I look at that, we’ve at least been in position to contend. And maybe we haven’t made the best decisions, but performance-wise, our cars, I would say, are better than they were in 2010. Obviously we didn’t win the Daytona 500 this year, but for me, constantly at every single race track we have been competitive this year. And even in 2010, we didn’t have that."

HAVE YOU NOTICED A CHANGE WITH CHIP GANASSI AT ALL? HE CAME TO MARTINSVILLE ON FRIDAY, WHICH WAS UNUSUAL BECAUSE THE INDYCARS WERE RUNNING IN ALABAMA THAT DAY. HAD HE BEEN MORE DEDICATED OR COMMITTED? "No, Chip has been really consistent through all this. Chip has spent a lot of money to get out program back where it needs to go; certainly with the engine program change that we did this year. I know that was a big cost in relation to the ECR engines; and also with hiring all the people and all the software that they bought at our shop. So he’s made a huge investment into this; even more so than what he did in 2008, ’09 and ’10. But him coming to the races is pretty much planned out before the season starts. He knows where he’s going to go and on what days he’s going to be there. And I think Martinsville was just on the way to Barber. But yeah, he seems really pleased with kind of where the cars are.

"And like I said, unfortunately the No. 42 has had some back luck but performance-wise, I think both of our cars have been really good."

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