McMurray Set To Drive Off To Broadcast Booth

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, February 16 2019
Jamie McMurray is driving in what looks to be his final Cup race on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Garry Eller)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Seven drivers will realize a career goal Sunday when they start their first Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, but for Jamie McMurray it marks the end of one — a full-time ride in NASCAR’s premier series.

“This has been really just a celebration more than having emotions,” McMurray said about his final Daytona 500. “My emotions were really all at Homestead (last November); knowing that it was my last race full time.

“I’m going to miss the racing part of it, but not all the rest that goes with it.”

The 42-year-old McMurray is transitioning into a broadcast career with Fox Sports and he said he’s already been involved in a “lot of taping.”

“It’s a much different vibe here,” McMurray said. “This has been really just a celebration more than having emotions. This has been a fun few weeks leading up to it and I’m looking forward to being in the studio next Friday, Saturday and Sunday with my next team.

“I’ll still be at the race track; all my friends are here. It’s not like I’m giving up all of it; I’m just giving up the driving part. I know from talking with my friends who have retired there’s this period when you’re away you want to come back, but then after a while that goes away. I’m hoping my TV job carried me through that part.”

McMurray’s 2010 victory in the prestigious event marked the only multiple win season of his career. He followed his Daytona 500 victory with wins at Indianapolis and Charlotte. But he noted the Daytona 500 was “one of the hardest races to finish.”

“When I won in 2010, ECR had the best plate engines in that era,” McMurray said. “That Chevy Impala was one of the best speedway cars at the time. It’s hard to have those at the same time and have the luck to go along with it.”

McMurray admitted the road courses still interest him and he had talked with team owner Chip Ganassi about racing at Sonoma or Watkins Glen. Ganassi’s sports car program in IMSA also interests him, but he doesn’t have anything planned.

“I’m looking forward to the TV side of things,” McMurray said. “It’s such a different perspective than when you’re driving every week. Your emotions are so much different. There’s no anxiety when the race is over about heading into the next week about what you need to do different or better.”

McMurray, driving the No. 40 Chevrolet, starts 16th Sunday. The Daytona 500 begins at 2:30 p.m., ET, and will be televised on FOX.

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, February 16 2019
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