Marvelous Weekend For Mcmurray
October 26, 2004 | 12:03 A.M. EST
The finish was McMurray's eighth top-five and 20th top-10 finish of the season. It was also his third top-10 finish in four starts at Martinsville Speedway.
"This is a great run for this Texaco/Havoline team," McMurray said. "I think if there had been a few more laps left, I might would have had something for Jimmie (Johnson), but considering that we had to work our way back up through the field today, I'm very happy with a second-place finish. Martinsville is becoming one of my favorite tracks on the circuit."
After qualifying eighth, McMurray began his march towards the front as the Texaco/Havoline Dodge was running in fourth place by lap 40.
During a caution period on lap 42, McMurray headed for pit road for four tires and fuel. The stop, however, would not come without a penalty. McMurray dove down pit road after he had already passed the pit road commitment line. As a result, the Texaco/Havoline Dodge had to restart the race from the 38th position.
McMurray, however, would use patience to maneuver his way back through the field. During a caution period on lap 113, McMurray elected to stay on the track while the leaders pitted. As a result, he re-started the race in second place.
By lap 250, McMurray had fallen back to ninth place as he was fighting a loose in, tight off condition on his Texaco/Havoline Dodge.
During another caution period on lap 321, McMurray headed for pit road for four tires and fuel while air pressure and track bar changes were made to the car. He exited pit road in 16th place.
When the caution flag waved again on lap 354, McMurray elected to remain on the track, and as a result, grabbed the lead. McMurray would lead the next 19 circuits.
McMurray blasted back into the lead on lap 383 and would hold the top spot until lap 404.
The team made its final pit stop of the day during a caution period on lap 411. McMurray was fitted with four tires and fuel as he exited the pits in 10th place.
The final 50 laps of the race proved to be a demolition derby as caution flags waved continuously. By lap 480, McMurray had worked the Texaco/Havoline Dodge into fourth place.
In the closing laps of the race, McMurray shot past teammate Sterling Marlin to take over third place and had his sights set on leader Jimmie Johnson. On the final lap, McMurray and Ryan Newman made contact, but McMurray would be the victor in the battle as the Texaco/Havoline Dodge crossed the finish line in second place behind winner Johnson.
McMurray led a total of 41 laps in the Subway 400 and helped raise $5,166 for the Autism Society of America in his "Drive for a Cure" awareness campaign.
McMurray leaves Martinsville remaining 11th in points and holds a 197 point lead over 12th place pursuer Dale Jarrett.