With arguably the biggest weekend in racing happening in just a few days, Tam-Star was able to slow down Jamie McMurray just long enough to find out what drives him to succeed, other than those championship Chevrolets, of course. He’s one of only three drivers to win both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same year (as well as the Bank of America 500 that year, and numerous Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series wins before and since). So what gets him to the checkered flag?
He was the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 2003, but it goes back much further. He grew up racing go-karts and competing in nearly every form of karting he could find before moving up to late-model stock cars…always racing toward those finish lines, he’ll certainly have his sights on claiming victory again at NASCAR’s most prestigious race and largest purse this weekend at Daytona (54th Annual Daytona 500 will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2012 on FOX).
But does washing his hands 40 times a day affect his drive? Does the Chevy name carry through to his pick for the ultimate muscle car off the racetrack? Find out these answers as well as his thoughts on Danica Patrick’s debut at Daytona, his thoughts on making The Chase versus winning big races, and what the names Earnhardt Sr. and Earnhardt Jr. have meant to him over the years. It’s a pre-race interview to an exciting weekend you don’t want to miss!
Tam-Star: Can you tell our readers a little bit about your career as a kart racer and how you made the transition from kart racing to NASCAR?
Jamie: I started racing go-karts when I was 8. I did that because my dad was into racing and I just really enjoyed doing it. I played soccer and baseball growing up, but I just loved racing. I like other sports, but racing was something that I was really passionate about. I was fortunate that I had a family that would support me and help pay for the cost of racing as I moved up. It’s just something I’ve always loved, and I just slowly moved up through the ranks of stock cars.
Tam-Star: How would you describe and what would you say to someone who has never watched NASCAR before?
Jamie: Wow, how would I describe it? I would say NASCAR is one of those sports that there’s excitement from the start to the end. It’s as exciting to see the initial green flag drop, and then as you watch the race and you see there’s a lot of different stories that develop throughout the race. And then of course, the finishes normally are really exciting. If you’re a fan of any kind of racing I think NASCAR is something that you’d love.