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Jamie McMurray now needs to transfer some of that Sprint All-Star Race magic to points races.
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Why He’s Here: In an upset of monumental proportions that seemingly came out of nowhere, Jamie McMurray put on a terrific display of driving in the closing laps to hold off Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and others to win the Sprint All-Star Race and the $1 million that came with it. He hasn’t sniffed a victory in a points race yet, but what he pulled off against the best in the business at Charlotte last Saturday night can’t be totally disregarded.
Key 2014 Moments: Prior to pulling off the All-Star upset, McMurray finished 29th at Talladega and 39th at Kansas in the two races leading up to it to fall to 24th in the points standings. He had qualified to compete in the All-Star event based on his victory last fall at Talladega and had entered that race with high hopes, even though that was his only win in the last four seasons. Furthermore, it’s not like he has even threatened to win a points race this season. He’s led a total of only 10 laps all year—and that all came in one race at Bristol, when he eventually crashed out and finished 38th.
What’s Next: It’s obvious that McMurray and his No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet team need to build on the shocking All-Star triumph. Whether or not they can do it remains to be seen, but he has won twice before at Charlotte (in the fall of 2002 and again in the fall in 2010, but never in the Coca Cola 600). He knows he needs a win in a points race to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, which he has never accomplished in his 13-year career.