The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) made the second stop on the early-season west coast swing in the “Valley of the Sun” at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). The No. 1 McDonald’s team had a strong 11th-place qualifying effort on Friday, but worked to manage handling issues throughout the 313-lap race to secure a 16th-place finish.
After starting near the front of the 39-car field, McMurray struggled with an extremely loose handling race car on the first green-flag run, dropping to 17th positon before the first pit stop on lap-53. Crew chief Matt McCall made several adjustments on ensuing stops with air pressure, track bar and other changes attempting to find the right balance. McMurray reported that the car would just lose grip after a handful of laps, before settling-in to run competitive lap times.
The race was extended for an overtime finish following the final caution on lap 308. McCall called for a two-tire stop in effort to gain track positon for the final three-lap shootout. Being mired in heavy traffic on the restart and for the final three laps, McMurray was only able to gain one position and crossed the finish line in the 16th position.
With his finish in the Good Sam 500, McMurray moved up one position and is currently in 15th place in the NSCS point standings.
NOTES OF INTEREST:
· This was McMurray’s best qualifying result of the season
· The race was slowed by caution five times for a total of 30 laps
CGR QUOTE BOARD
Jamie McMurray – No. 1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS – “I feel like we raced a lot better than what we practiced, so that is a good thing. We started out really loose and the guys worked hard to make adjustments on pit road all day. For a good part of the race I thought we were about a 20th-place car, so glad that we could finish better than that. I think that it is important as a team that you improve on your running position with a better finish. As long as we keep working that way the better finishes will come along”.
NSCS teams will run the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway next Sunday, Mar. 20, 2016. FOX, Sirius XM NASCAR Channel 90 and MRN Radio will have live coverage beginning at 3:30pm EDT.
About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 25 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world. Today his teams include four cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, two cars in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, two factory Ford GT’s in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, two factory Ford GT’s in the FIA World Endurance Championship and two Supercars in Red Bull Global Rallycross. Overall his teams have 18 championships and 170 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and six Rolex 24 At Daytonas and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Penn.
For more information log onto: www.chipganassiracing.com