Jamie McMurray says he is hopeful that the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup campaign will prove to be his strongest to date.
McMurray finished the 2008 campaign in 16th place in the championship standings with four top-five finishes and eleven top-ten results.
The Roush Fenway driver has already been boosted by December's announcement that the experienced figure of Donnie Wingo will act as crew chief on the #26 Crown Royal Fusion Ford and he said that felt the team was in a strong position heading into the start of the 2009 season.
“I feel more comfortable than ever and I certainly ran as well as I ever have in my career at the end of last season at a lot of different types of tracks,” he said. “I feel that our team is also stronger this year and everyone that we lost staff-wise, we've replaced them with someone stronger than the people we had in place. I just feel that Donnie is one of the best crew chiefs in our sport and we had a lot of success at Ganassi with lesser equipment, so to have Donnie and then all the Ford equipment here at Roush Fenway Racing, I can't wait to see how this all comes together this year.”
With testing having been reduced for the new campaign, McMurray admitted that he couldn't now wait to get behind the wheel for the start of the season at Daytona, a venue that hasn't been kind to him in the past when it comes to the Daytona 500.
“I went and raced my go-karts about three times in the off-season and I was excited to go and do that,” he said. “Once I had the chance to jump in the car at Phoenix for that tire test, I just can't wait to get back racing again. We start off with the biggest race of the year, the Daytona 500, it's just really exciting and I'm ready to go.
“Daytona 500 races have not been good to me. I won the July race, but the Daytona 500 has always been a tough one for me. It makes your season so much easier if you can start off with those first few races with some solid finishes, so I'm hoping that the statistics do not continue this year and that eventually I'd run well in it. Superspeedways have always been good to me so we'll see.
“My thought is this, when you go to superspeedways you have a 50/50 chance of crashing out of the race and looking back, I've unfortunately crashed out of the last two, so I think my odds need to be on the side of me finishing well there this year.”