Sean Gardner / Stringer
With all of the driver turnover in NASCAR, Jamie McMurray finds himself as one of the elder statesmen of NASCAR at 41 years old. A Daytona 500 win highlights his seven cup series victories and he has 61 top-five finishes in 546 starts.
Never a superstar in the sport, McMurray has been consistent, and has an understandable goal as he races into his 40’s: To go out on his own terms.
With drivers like Danica Patrick and Matt Kenseth being all but forced out of the sport to make way for cheaper, younger drivers, McMurray wants to be more like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart by calling it quits when he is ready, and not a race before.
“When I view that, I think my goal is to go out on my own,” McMurray said via Motorsports Tribune. “I think I remember Carl saying the same thing. It’s kind of sad that Matt’s not going to be there this year. Same thing with Dale Jr. but it doesn’t hit home with me quite as much because I wasn’t real close with him. Biffle was, back at the days at Roush, Matt, Greg, and I were really tight, our families, everybody. I still see Greg at school two, three days a week when we pick our kids up. I mean, it’s sad, you see a group of guys that you raced with and they are slowly retiring.
“The way I view that is that you do it (compete) as long as you feel like your competitive. I work harder now than I ever have at all the small things to be a better driver. I’m certainly more physically fit than I ever have my whole life. I don’t even think about retirement. What makes me think about it is when I run into my friends.”
As long as that competitive fire keeps burning, we can be sure we will be seeing McMurray out there on the track, starting in February for the Daytona 500.