A Jamie McMurray Return To Earnhardt Ganassi Might Be Best for His Career

Misan AkuyaCorrespondent IAugust 26, 2009

BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 21:  Jamie McMurray, driver of the #26 Irwin Industrial Tools Ford, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2009 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray is currently 22nd in points with no top fives, three top tens and with a best finish of seventh.  This is certainly not where we thought McMurray would be in points after finishing off 2008 with having four top fives (including finishing third in the last three races) five top tens in the last six races.  McMurray missed out on wins at Dover due to getting wrecked and Texas due to needing to pit (however he finished third).

But thanks to the fact that David Ragan, who is 29th in points with one top ten and just got his fifth top fifteen finish of the 2009 season, has UPS Sponsorship, McMurray was the odd man out at Roush.

It is no secret his tenure at Roush hasn't gone according to plan.  Since 2006 Jamie has won one race, has had 10 top fives, 30 top tens and a best points finish of 16th and an average finish of 19th.  His worst was a devastating 25th in their inaugural season where as he had three crew chief changes.

McMurray has been mum on where he is going in 2010 and for good reason.  Roush could get sponsorship so he can go to Yates, though if McMurray is smart he wouldn't go as Bobby Labonte and Paul Menard are 30th and 33rd in points.  There is also the possibility of a third Stewart-Haas Racing car as he was a choice for the second car in 2008 but sponsorship would have to come in place.  There is also Joe Gibbs racing which really wants to add a fourth car with Farm Bureau sponsorship.  But things are not finalized and are up in the air.

Perhaps this is why McMurray has been quiet.

Then there is Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.  McMurray once raced for Chip Ganassi and enjoyed the most success he has had in cup.  From late 2002 (six of the last seven races) to 2005 he had one win, 19 top fives, and 48 top tens. He finished in his three full seasons there 13th, 11th and 12th in points and was a consistent Chase contender.  In 2004 he scored 23 top tens which were the second most that year only to Jeff Gordon.  His win came in only his second start in the fall of 2002.  And his average finish was a 16.9.

Other than past numbers, another good reason to go back is how competitive Juan Pablo Montoya has been.  Juan should have won the Brickyard 400 leading 116 of 160 laps, only to get caught speeding.  Juan has had one top five, 11 top tens and is ninth in points.  Basically doing what Jamie did in the No. 42.

One would assume that McMurray could bring Donnie Wingo and make it a true reunion of all parties. 

McMurray and Ganssi seem to be on good ground after Jamie bolted a year early from his contract to join Roush to further his success.  Going back to teams and having more success has happened.  Dale Earnhardt left Richard Childress racing only to come back and win six championships.

Now it is not that Jamie would win six championships, but at the same time I can see him winning races, making the Chase and becoming the championship contender that he truly is.  The Missouri native is an extremely talented race car driver that given the right situation can and will be successful.

Decision time is now for McMurray.  And Earnhardt Ganassi wouldn't be a bad one.