Mcmurray Shoots For Daytona Sweep

Jamie McMurray looks to follow-up his Daytona 500 victory with a win in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 and a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season sweep at "The World Center of Racing."

Bobby Allison was the last driver to take both the 500 and the annual mid-summer race at Daytona in 1982, a feat McMurray hopes to accomplish on Saturday night.

"When I think about coming back to Daytona after winning the 500 in February, it is really hard for me to fathom that just 5 months ago, we were celebrating winning that race," McMurray said. "It truly was a dream come true. It is amazing to me that no matter where you are, or how far we get from that date, I have fans, drivers, owners, etc. approaching me to congratulate me on winning the 500."

But McMurray will have a new challenge of racing without a wing as he did in February as well as the biggest restrictor plate NASCAR has used at Daytona since 1988. That should make things Saturday night even more interesting.

"It will however, be interesting to see how the cars react to the larger restrictor plate, but we’re certain that ECR engines will be among, if not the best upon arrival to Daytona," he said. "We hope to put on a good show for the fans, and the American public as we celebrate the July 4th weekend.. It is certain to be another great night of racing at Daytona!”

The two modifications to the Sprint Cup car have had a major impact on the sport since the season started at Daytona five months ago. McMurray thinks both are big moves that are putting the sport in the right direction.

"Well, first off, I think NASCAR deserves a lot of credit for making the right changes to the restrictor plate for the spoiler," McMurray said. "When I heard how big the plate was going to be and they talked about how much more power the cars were going to make, I was just sure that we would make the first practice yesterday and that we would have a plate change because we were going to be going to quick. They did their homework and did a really good job at getting the appropriate plate on for the amount of drag that the spoiler makes versus the wing.

"The cars suck up really well like what we had at Talladega, and that makes for really good plate racing because you can get to the guy in front of you and you’re able to really give him a push. If you’re two or three cars back from the other row whether it is on the inside or the outside, you’re able to make that pass."

The new package has the chance to make Saturday night's race even more exciting than a usual trip to Daytona.

"The cars are really fun to drive in practice," McMurray said. "Handling is obviously way more critical here; it is irrelevant at Talladega. Talladega is just about getting in the right line and getting the right push. The cars are a handful here and it makes it probably more exciting from a driver’s perspective because you’ve got a lot more going on and you’ve got to make your car handle well."

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