Mcmurray Remains Confident

While several candidates are emerging as "Most Improved Driver of the Year" in 2007, only one finds himself in the top 10 as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series heads to Richmond International Raceway this weekend for the season's fourth "Car of Tomorrow" race.

Jamie McMurray has put behind the struggles from his first season with Roush Fenway Racing in 2006 and bounced back from two consecutive finishes of 30th or worse at the beginning of 2007 to enter Saturday's Crown Royal presents the "Jim Stewart 400" seventh in the points, 462 points behind leader Jeff Gordon.

His turnabout began with a 10th-place finish at Las Vegas in March and, since then, he has posted a total of five top-10 finishes, including a fifth-place finish last week at Talladega.

"Hopefully, we can go out there and run well for Crown Royal and maybe even put our No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion in the top five again, or better yet, a win," said McMurray.

Despite his recent success, McMurray faces an uphill battle in trying to maintain his points position this weekend.

During a two-day "COT" test at Richmond in early April, McMurray failed to break into the top 25 in any of the four sessions.

He also has a mixed record at the .75-mile speedway. In eight career starts at RIR, McMurray has as many top 10s as he has DNFs, two of each, and with his average finish of 22.8, has the worst average finish of any driver in the top 10 in the standings.

"When the No. 26 tested at Richmond a few weeks ago, we didn't have the best test session – actually, none of the Roush Fenway Racing cars did. However, I think we did learn a lot at the test. Crew Chief Larry Carter and I have sat down and talked a lot about our plan for Richmond and I think we have a good setup heading into the weekend," said McMurray. "In the past COT races we were a little weary going into the race, but came out pretty well at the end and hopefully this weekend won't be any different."

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