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McMurray Beats Busch in Atlanta

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, September 4 2010

By Rick Minter | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Hampton, Ga. – Two entities that have been beaten down in recent times emerged victorious on Saturday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Jamie McMurray, the driver Roush Fenway Racing decided to put on the street to meet NASCAR’s limit of four drivers per race team, outran the Nationwide Series’ best drivers and teams to get a victory in the Great Clips 300.

And the speedway itself, which just lost one of its two NASCAR weekends, scored big too, drawing the largest Nationwide Series crowd in speedway history. The official estimate was 71,300, and it would be hard to dispute the numbers.

The infield was full of campers, and the main grandstand needed only a few more thousand to be completely full.

To put that number in perspective, 71,300 would be more than a sell-out at many of the current Sprint Cup venues.

McMurray showed the same kind of fire that he had in winning the Cup circuit’s two biggest races, the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. He had the fastest car for most of the night, but when Reed Sorenson’s spin set up a 22-lap sprint to the finish. McMurray bolted into the lead and outran Kyle Busch, the Nationwide circuit’s hottest driver, to get the lead and the eventual win.

Ironically, it was one of McMurray’s old Roush teammates, Carl Edwards, who was explaining afterward just how good a driver McMurray is.

“Jamie’s a really good race driver,” said Edwards, who finished third. “I think he’s shown that throughout his career…even when Jamie was not running as well as he wanted to and people expected him to.”

Edwards said that was evident to some people at Roush, even when McMurray was struggling there. Edwards pointed out that his current crew Bob Osborne once was crew chief for McMurray and came to appreciate his skills behind the wheel.

“Bob Osborne and I were talking one day, and he said, ‘Man, that guy can drive a race car.’

“I think Jamie’s showing everybody how good he is this year. It’s pretty cool to see him having success. He’s a very humble guy and a good person.”

– Rick Minter can be reached at rminter@racintoday.com

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, September 4 2010
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