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NASCAR Notes: McMurray Serves Up Buck Day

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, February 20 2010
It's an all-EGR front row at California as Jamie McMurray, right, will start Sunday's race from the pole and Juan Pablo Montoya will be alongside. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

It's an all-EGR front row at California as Jamie McMurray, right, will start Sunday's race from the pole and Juan Pablo Montoya will be alongside. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Fontana, Calif. – Jamie McMurray’s win in last weekend’s Daytona 500 proved to be a financial windfall for 2,000 NASCAR fans in Atlanta.

Atlanta Motor Speedway agreed to sell 2,000 frontstretch tickets for next month’s Kobalt Tools 500 with the price determined by the winning car number of the Great American Race.

McMurray’s victory in the No. 1 Chevrolet meant the tickets sold for one dollar each on Monday morning.

“It’s cool to see that the race tracks get creative like that,” said McMurray, who will start from the pole in Sunday’s Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

“I hope that’s good for the race track. I hope I didn’t put them in debt or anything. I assume they wish that Carl Edwards (No. 99) would have won so it could be an expensive ticket.

“But that’s great. I hope all those fans come and get to enjoy it and that they go to Bass Pro Shops and spend whatever the difference was on fishing lures.”

Still on Hold: Seconds after completing his press conference at Auto Club Speedway Friday afternoon, a room packed with media grew eerily silent after hearing Carl Edwards’ cell phone ring.

Edwards is on a well-documented baby watch.

His wife, Kate Edwards, is expected to deliver the couple’s first child any day in their hometown of Columbia, Mo.

“I’ve been carrying around this (Sprint) Palm Pixie and it’s a pretty neat phone,” Edwards said during his media availability. “I’ve been carrying it around just waiting for Kate to call me.

“I’ve got fuel in the plane and I’m ready to go if she were to call this evening. I’d take off and go see it, but we went to the doctor this week and they said everything just looks the same, so I guess we’re just kind of hanging out.

“We’ve been doing lots of walking and ate some spicy foods – everything they say to do – so we’re just waiting. I’m really excited about it.”

So who was calling Edwards just as he prepared to depart the interview room?

“It’s my accountant,” Edwards announced to the group of reporters.

Reuti Is Ready: Five days after finishing fifth in the Daytona 500, David Reutimann said he won’t have a problem getting motivated for Sunday’s 250 lap race in southern California, which comes one week after NASCAR’s biggest race of the season.

“Every race you go to seem like a Daytona for me,” Reutimann said. “I get keyed up and excited. The venue’s the same, the race tracks are different, but the cars are the same for the most part.

“We’re just at a different part of the country. I still get, and I think a lot of guys still get, the same level of pumped up.

“You’re only as good as your last race, so if you run good in one race, you may be able to enjoy it Monday and maybe Tuesday. Then Wednesday, it’s like you have to go back and do it again.”

Ready to flip: Edwards has called on Erik Darnell to be on standby this weekend in case his wife gives birth.

If he competes in Saturday’s Nationwide Series event and Sunday’s Cup race, Edwards didn’t rule out being able to pull off a sweep.

Edwards was unable to do his trademark backflip following wins after injuring his foot last summer in a freak accident while playing Frisbee.

Fully-healed, Edwards performed his first backflip since the incident when he jumped off the top rope of a wrestling ring when he was the special guest host of WWE Monday Night Raw on Monday Feb. 8.

Edwards said his next backflip will come from the door of a race car, and it could happen as soon as this weekend.

“Yeah, everything is good and seems good,” Edwards said. “I tested that out with the guys at the WWE and that was a lot of fun.

“Backflips are on the menu, so if we win, there will be a backflip – maybe two.”

Getting bumped: Danica Patrick is scheduled to make her second career NASCAR start in Saturday’s Nationwide Series Stater Bros. 300.

Patrick was quizzed on Friday about whether she is being accepted in the NASCAR garage.

“Well, I don’t think I’m necessarily the person to ask that question to,” she said. “I think that you’ve got to ask all the other drivers that question, if they respect me or not.

“My job is to earn it. I haven’t really had enough racing out there to know whether or not they’re playing nice and fair. And to be honest, I don’t even know what that is yet. Is bumping normal?

“I think I saw Jamie win the race last weekend and have people bump him afterwards. So I think it was some sort of ‘good job.’

“Was that like a pat on the butt?”

– Jeff Hood can be reached at jhood@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, February 20 2010
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