At The Break Pt 2 Disappointments

Only two months agao, every driver and every team was optimistic about the prospects for the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season.

Now five races into the year, there's a group of drivers who certainly wish there was such a thing as a do over.

Topping the list of disappointments is Jamie McMurray, who has sputtered out of the gate and finds himself 36th in points, just out of the coveted safety of the Top 35.

While his Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Matt kenseth have shown the ability to be competitive every week so far, McMurray has had nothing but trouble.

McMurray has not finished in the top ten in any of the year's first five races with his best run coming in Fontana when he came home 22nd.

"This season we haven’t gotten off to the start that I was hoping for because of a wreck, bad luck or the car just didn’t run well,” crew chief Larry Carter said. “This isn’t what we were expecting. We know the road ahead of us and what we have to do to run better. Now we just have to go out there and get it done."

Mark Martin would like to get things done in a better way when he picks up his abbreviated schedule at Texas on April 6th.

It's been a very different start this season for the veteran than the one he enjoyed a year ago.

After leading the standings in the 2007 early going, Martin's 2008 hasn't been nearly successful.

He started off the campaign on a down note with a 31st place finish in the Daytona 500 which unfortunately set the tone for the early going.

Aside from his tenth place in Las Vegas, Martin has struggled to make it into the top ten.

However Martin is enjoying his new role with DEI and remains positive about turning things around.

"I really enjoy working with these guys, and I'm looking forward to getting some more races under our belts," he said. "They have done an outstanding job in the pits, and the cars are getting better each week."

Maybe the biggest surprise disappointment is the slow start by two-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who hasn't shown any of the domination of his stellar 2007 season.

With only one top five finish, a runnerup to Carl Edwards in Fontana, Johnson finds himself outside the first twelve in the point standings.

Johnson remains optimistic and believes his team will figure out what has been keeping the No. 48 from competing so far this year.

"We've looked back through the notes and our concerns for the bigger tracks," said Johnson. "Coming into this season we didn't spend any time testing on any of the big tracks. We've been on track. We've been learning. We've been making improvements, if you look at Vegas and Atlanta. We still have a very loose race car, but we made up a lot of ground. We finished on the lead lap in 13th. It wasn't the day that we wanted, but we're definitely going down the right road."

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2008

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