McMurray's Dream Season Continues

Jamie McMurray

McMurray celebrates his sixth career win. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Jamie McMurray continued his season of big wins adding Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to his impressive list of victories in 2010.

McMurray outran Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson to the checkered flag for his third win of the season to go along with victories in the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400.

It was McMurray’s first win at Charlotte since he scored his first career Sprint Cup Series victory at the track in 2002.

McMurray got the jump on Busch and the field on the race’s final restart with 21 laps to go and cruised to his sixth career win. 

“You just drive your heart out and if you have the car, then you are able to make those passes and if you don’t, you don’t make the passes,” said McMurray of his winning move. “We had a better car than Kyle at the end. He was better at certain stages during the race but at the end of the race we had the best car.”

Johnson’s comeback was impressive after he was involved in a spin early in the race and was forced to pit twice to make repairs and change tires to his Lowe’s Chevrolet. He fell back as far as 37th after the slide but rebounded to notch the third-place finish and add to his lead in the Sprint Cup Series point standings as the Chase reached the halfway point.

“It’s amazing what goes through your mind sliding through the back straight,” Johnson said. “I saw all my dreams and hard work and fifth straight championship going away.”

Johnson gained five points on second-place Denny Hamlin, who now trails Johnson by 41 points with five races remaining. Kevin Harvick is third, 77 points back with Jeff Gordon 156 behind in fourth and Kyle Busch now 177 behind in fifth.

Hamlin and Greg Biffle rounded out the top five as Chase contenders claimed four of the first five finishing positions.

Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, David Reutimann and David Ragan completed the first ten finishers.

It was again another bad outing for several Chase contenders including Jeff Gordon who started from the pole but quickly was plagued by issues that thwarted any chance of winning or making up ground in the championship standings.

An electrical problem robbed power from Gordon’s engine and that issue was later compounded when for the second straight week he was penalized for speeding on pit road. Gordon finished 23rd.

“Yeah, it was not a lot of fun,” said Gordon. “We had about everything go wrong that could go wrong. Track position being crucial at this place. I've never seen it so sensitive. We lost a little bit of track position and then we had the battery issue, which took me a little while to figure out.

“So, it took me a few seconds to figure that out. We lost a lap; and then speeding and a tire coming loose; we had it all happen.”

The race featured several other spins that brought out cautions for incidents involving Kurt Busch, Jeff Burton and Robby Gordon.

The night’s biggest accident came on lap 124 when Kasey Kahne wiggled racing off turn four and made contact with Sam Hornish Jr., sending both cars spinning and severely damaging each machine.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads to Martinsville Speedway for next Sunday’s TUMS Fast Pain Relief 500.

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