NASCAR

McMurray a wild-card contender?

Larry McReynolds on Jamie McMurray's 2013 season.
Larry McReynolds on Jamie McMurray's 2013 season.
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Larry McReynolds

Larry McReynolds has more than 30 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, Daytona 500-winning crew chief and broadcaster. He earned 23 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, including two victories in the prestigious Daytona 500, as well as a pair of non-points victories in the annual all-star race. Follow him on Twitter.

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Jamie McMurray in the No. 1 car had a great second-place finish Sunday at Kentucky Speedway.

I heard comments from a lot of fans about how “surprised” they were to see that car up front. However, I think they have the wrong impression. Jamie has performed like that this year a lot.

Look back to how well he was running at Charlotte, Dover and Sonoma. He has had top-five and top-10 runs going, but was unable to seal the deal.

Sunday at Kentucky, it all came together for him and the team. It was his first top-five finish, believe it or not, since the August 2011 Bristol race.

On the other plus side of things, he has now cracked the top 20 in points. So if he could pull off a win, he would jump right into the middle of the wild-card picture.

I say that especially based on how poorly Tony Stewart is running these days. Yes, Tony does have a win, put Tony dropped another spot in the points to 16th following Kentucky and Jamie is sitting right there in 19th.

Let’s face it, it wasn’t that long ago that Tony was in the top 10 but his slide down the ladder seems to be continuing. So a single win could really change Jamie’s whole season around.

There still is no clarity of the wild-card picture other than one thing is clear: You are going to have to win a race for a chance at those two spots.

Getting a wild-card position simply on points is no longer an option. I am still not going to rule out that you are going to have to win two races to make it.

Tagged: Tony Stewart, Jamie McMurray

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