CHEVY MENCS AT DAYTONA 500 MEDIA DAY: Jamie McMurray Press Conf. Transcript

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 40 MCDONALD’S/CESSNA/BASS PRO SHOPS CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Daytona 500 Media Day and discussed the upcoming weekend of racing and other topics. Selected Quotes:

IS THERE ANYTHING MENTALLY BETWEEN RUNNING A HALF-MARATHON AND GETTING IN THE CAR?
“I’ve run, not every day but most days like 8, 10-15 miles. It just depends on what kind of day you’re having. To run 13 miles is not that big of a deal. I ran at a fairly high pace. I was a lot more sore after that than I expected to be. The sand on the beach and the headwind were very strong, but it was just a fun morning and the qualifying isn’t as big a deal as the race. That was a fairly intense day on Sunday to come out and do that, but the Clash was a pretty short race. I think it would be a much different environment if it was 100 degrees out and you’re running a half-marathon in the morning and then getting in the car. But the car wasn’t hot at all, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.”

ASIDE FROM RUNNING, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS YOU LIKE TO DO AWAY FROM THE TRACK?
“I have two kids and that is my spare time. I typically take them to school, or my wife does, and I do a couple hours of exercise in the morning, eat lunch and then I pick them up. Then we play, study, read books, do homework – all the stuff that parents do. So, I don’t have a tremendous amount of time, away from those few hours in the morning, to myself.”

WHAT’S SOMETHING THAT FANS DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
“I think I’ve been around long enough that fans know everything about me.”

HAS IT HIT YOU YET THAT THIS IS THE FINAL START?
“This is super different than Homestead was, knowing that it was my last race full time. It’s a much different vibe here. I’ve already started my next career with TV. It’s been a lot of taping, getting ready with FOX. Coming down here, it’s very laid back. A plate race is so much different than you have at any other track, the fact that I got to run the Clash and we have the 150s before it. It’s three races, not just your last one, so it’s a lot different weekend. I’m looking forward to the 500 and what comes after that.”

DO YOU EXPECT ANY EMOTIONS PRERACE?
“I don’t. My emotions were really all at Homestead. This has been really just a celebration more than having emotions. I’m going to miss the racing part of it but not all the rest that goes with it. As far as driving, yeah, I’ll miss all of that. I’ll still be at the racetrack; all my friends are here. It’s not like I’m giving up all of it, I’m just giving up the driving part.”

WHAT SETS THE DAYTONA 500 APART?
“This is one of the hardest races to finish. Like you saw on Sunday, you think being out front is the place to be to not wreck and the first two guys wrecked and it collected basically everybody behind them. So, being able to finish is really hard, and then having the right car at Daytona is so hard – to have the right engine make, the right car manufacturer make and have those at the same time and then to be able to finish. When I won in 2010, ECR had the best plate engines in that era, 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. It’s just hard to put that all together.”

HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO WIN THIS RACE WITHOUT TEAMMATES?
“I don’t it makes that much difference anymore. We used to talk about teammates and there was the time of Michael Waltrip and Dale Jr., they also had two of the fastest cars. I think if you only had one of them the other would have been fine. I have two other teammates this weekend, but we having talked about drafting with each other or anything. The only time that a teammate will come into play on Sunday is if it’s single file and you’re teammate is on the bottom. If a guy is on the outside, he can let you in. Or he doesn’t have to.”

WOULD YOU PUT BUBBA WALLACE AMONG THE TOP CHARACTERS ON THE CIRCUIT?
“He does a really good job with social media and he’s fairly dramatic. When he does an interview, you watch his facial expressions. But he’s also a really fun guy. We need characters, we need Bubba and I think he’s really embraced the character side of our sport. He’s a very entertaining person to watch on TV, and on top of that he’s a great race car driver. I don’t know if gets as much credit for the effort he puts in and his ability. He is somebody that if he gets with a team that has the funding, I think Bubba is someone who can have a super long career in the Cup series.”

IS THIS IT FOR YOU?
“Most likely. If an opportunity comes up. I have talked with Chip (Ganassi) if I would do Sonoma or Watkins Glen; the road courses really interest me. Or maybe doing something in a sports car. I don’t know or have anything planned. I’m looking forward to the TV side of things. 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. I’m excited about the race; 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.”

DRIVERS ARE RETIRING EARLIER THAN THE RICHARD PETTYS. HAS THIS JOB BECOME LESS FUN?
“No, I don’t think so because the time of 2006 to 2010 is when you had more of the photo shoots and commercials and there was a lot more appearances. Since social media has come along, sponsors do everything with a phone and they put it out immediately. I can’t tell you the reason people are stopping at a younger age. Maybe they’re starting at a younger age.”

HOW DO YOU SUM UP THE END OF YOUR FULL-TIME CAREER?
“I don’t know. I’ll let you do that.”

ARE THERE ANY MOMENTS IN THE DAYTONA 500 THAT STAND OUT?
“Clearly, winning is my favorite moment of the Daytona 500 and it would be that way for anybody who’s won it. When I think about the Daytona 500, I think about the year Dale Earnhardt Sr. finally won and the crew guys all were lined up. I think about Sterling Marlin pulling on his right-front fender when he was leading and there was a red flag. There’s been some amazing memories – not necessarily from the guy that won – just throughout this race. This race takes so much out of you and it’s crazy we have this as our first race every single year. There’s so much build-up around this event that when it’s over it’s exhausting.”

IF YOU WIN ON SUNDAY, YOU’LL BE THE THIRD DRIVER IN NASCAR HISTORY TO WIN INN THEIR FINAL START. WHAT WOULD THAT MEAN TO YOU?
“I find that shocking but that would be awesome. It would be cool because I won in my second start and it would be cool to win in my last.”

IF SOMEONE COMES TO YOU AND SAYS WOULD YOU LIKE TO RUN A RACE, WOULD YOU?
“I think it just depends on the situation. Right now, no. I would for Chip probably and I’ve talked with him about Sonoma or Watkins Glen. Martinsville interests me. But as of right now, no. Never say never. What I know of talking with my friends who have retired is 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 carries me through that part.”

ARE YOU SURPRISED THE TV DEAL CAME YOUR WAY?
“Maybe. I didn’t know that TV would be as enjoyable as it is. I didn’t realize that TV is a team and they work together, and their goal is to put a good show on.”

OUTSIDE OF RACING CARS, WHAT FUELS YOUR COMPETITIVE JUICES?
“Running, for sure. As you’re running and you’re exhausted, you start looking at other people and I don’t look as tired as they do. And the training leading up to it, there’s motivation. All the training you put into it makes you have a good day. I love the looking at the data of your body, whatever metrics you look at, and try to get those to be better and faster. It’s really fun. It’s just you.”

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