News from the Pit: Jamie McMurray - Driving for success in life as well as NASCAR
NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray recognizes the importance of having a "super slick" paint finish on any NASCAR race car he drives. That's why he's proud to be driving his No. 1 Cessna/McDonald's Chevrolet SS with Sherwin-Williams paint for team Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. "For anyone who attends a NASCAR race, it's the impact of the beautiful and shiny paint that fans are always looking for," says McMurray. "It's the quality of the paint and how well it's applied that contributes to a fast car. Sherwin-Williams does a great job of that."
Best known for winning the 2002 UAW-GM Quality 500 as a substitute driver in his second Cup start, McMurray is one of only three drivers to win both the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same year.
It's no surprise that McMurray's all-time favorite paint scheme was on the car he drove for the 2010 Brickyard 400. "Because I won two really big races back to back that year, people bought a lot of car kits," says McMurray. "It was also a memorable year because not only did I 'kiss the bricks' at the Brickyard 400, but we also had our first child."
For over a decade McMurray has been promoting awareness of and raising money for autism through his position in NASCAR. He started the Jamie McMurray Foundation on behalf of his autistic niece since making the Cup series. "At the time I began the Jamie McMurray Foundation, autism wasn't very well known so I wanted to bring more attention to it as well as raise money to support research and education," says McMurray. "It has been so heartwarming over the years to meet so many fans that not only have supported the foundation, but also have told me their touching stories about how their families have been afflicted with autism as well."
Over the years, McMurray hasn't rolled the fundraising bandwagon strictly for autism. In early Spring, he hosted the Celebrity Bowling Event "Stars and Strikes" in Chicago with San Diego Chargers Running Back Melvin Gordon. It was a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House. "Melvin and I share the same agent and McDonald's is one of my key racing sponsors so I was honored to be part of this event," says McMurray.
The 2015 season marks the 13th full-time year of NSCS competition for the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year. To date, McMurray has 438 career starts in the NSCS resulting in seven wins, 52 top-fives and 121 top-10s. He also grabbed 11 pole awards and has led 1,853 laps of competition along the way.
Like any professional athlete, McMurray experiences extreme highs and lows throughout his career. How does he cope with it? "Whenever I experience a bad race, I tell myself it only lasts for a week at a time," he says. "In the racing car circuit, every week gives you another chance to redeem yourself by winning."
How is 2015 shaping up for McMurray? He's having a great year - jumping 16 spots from last year, going from 24th to 8th. At the time of publication, McMurray's fourth-place finish in the most recent NASCAR race, the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway, was his second top-five of the year. McMurray is cementing his position in the top 16 in points and has every reason to believe he can reach NASCAR's Victory Lane before the year is up.
Learn more about the Jamie McMurray Foundation for Autism Awareness
Learn more about the Jamie McMurray - Driver of the No. 1 Cessna/McDonald's Chevrolet SS for team Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates