2015 Sprint Cup Series Forecast- Jamie McMurray


Aug 17, 2014; Brooklyn, MI, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray prior to the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Chase, Where Art Thou?

Jamie McMurray

What he accomplished in 2014

Best finish — third at Charlotte (Fall Race)

Recorded four top five finishes, five top 10 finishes, one pole in Chase races

Won the All-Star race at Charlotte in May

Finished 18th in the driver standings

What to expect in 2015

A berth in the Chase

A win on an intermediate track other than Charlotte

Build upon a strong end to the 2014 season (McMurray’s best season since 2010)

Jamie McMurray has experienced a number of career defining moments since he arrived on the Sprint Cup Series tour back in 2002.  Jamie Mac has won the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400, the Coke Zero 400 and most recently added the All-Star race to his impressive resume, but one key element has eluded McMurray for the past 11 seasons. McMurray has never qualified for the Chase since NASCAR introduced the playoff style format in 2004, despite coming tremendously close on several occasions. As McMurray heads into another season full of hope following a momentous end to the 2014 campaign, it’s likely Jamie Mac will finally cross making the Chase off the ol’ bucket list in 2015.

McMurray will have the luxury of working with new crew chief Matt McCall in 2015. McCall spent the last few years working for Richard Childress Racing as an engineer on the #31 car.  During his time with the #31 team, McCall played an integral role in Ryan Newman’s highly successful run in the Chase last season that resulted in Newman earning a runner-up finish in the overall driver standings.  Now, McCall aims to bring that winning attitude with him to Chip Ganassi Racing, in the hopes of elevating McMurray’s career to the next level. If anything, McCall brings a youthful presence to a team that’s in desperate need of a culture change.

The biggest obstacle that lies ahead for McMurray in 2015 is the fact he will be working with his third crew chief in three seasons.  The departure of Keith Rodden could hinder the team’s performance early on since McMurray was starting to build chemistry with his new crew chief towards the end of 2014. If this latest Jamie McMurray experiment fails, Ganassi may be forced to make a difficult decision when it comes to revitalizing the performance of the #1 car, even if that means, perhaps, facing life without Jamie McMurray.

Another goal McMurray has to attain in 2015 is to separate himself from living in the shadow of his teammate, something that has hampered McMurray for a better part of his career. In spite of all he has accomplished in his Sprint Cup career, McMurray can’t seem to break free from playing the role of the other driver. As he heads into the twilight of his career, McMurray has to capitalize on what could be a career year for him. All Jamie Mac has to do is focus on the big picture, win races and make the Chase convincingly. Once he and crew McCall achieve this goal, all the attention can be directed towards building a strong program for the future.


Wins- 2

Top 5’s – 8

Top 10’s-  12

Poles- 1

14th in points

Follow Stock Car Spin on Twitter @SCSblog or like Stock Car Spin on Facebook.