NASCAR Driver Jamie McMurray Offered Advisory Role by Chip Ganassi Racing
The 2018 NASCAR season could be Jamie McMurray’s last as a full-time driver.
Jamie McMurray will not return to Chip Ganassi Racing as a full-time driver next season, as reported by The Associated Press on Monday. He has driven the No. 1 Chevrolet for CGR since 2010.
“I love Jamie McMurray and I want him on my team,” team owner Chip Ganassi told the AP. “In a Dario role, though.”
Dario Franchitti moved into an administrative role with Chip Ganassi Racing after retiring from an accomplished IndyCar career in 2013.
Ganassi says he offered McMurray a deal that includes an opportunity to race in the 2019 season-opening Daytona 500, followed by a move to a leadership position within the team. However, he says the driver has not decided whether to accept the offer or seek a full-time driving position with another race team. McMurray declined opportunities to discuss his future beyond the 2018 NASCAR season.
The deal Ganassi offered to McMurray also includes a possibility to run other races but not a full-time schedule.
Reports began surfacing in August of Kurt Busch replacing McMurray behind the wheel of the No. 1 car next year. Ganassi refuses to comment on a possible Busch hiring, but Busch says he has had discussions with two teams and hasn’t made a deal for 2019 as of yet. Busch’s contract to drive the No. 41 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing expires at the end of the current season.
McMurray has had two stints with Chip Ganassi Racing in his Cup Series career that began with the final six races of the 2002 season. He started at CGR as a fill-in for the injured Sterling Marlin in the second Talladega Superspeedway race of the 2002 season and won in his second career Cup Series race, which came at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The following season, he became the full-time driver of CGR’s No. 42 entry and drove the car through the 2005 season. He returned to Ganassi after a four-year stint at Roush Fenway Racing.
McMurray is a seven-time winner in the Cup Series. All but two of those wins have come with Chip Ganassi Racing, including three trips to victory lane in his return to the team in 2010. His most recent win came at Talladega in 2013.
McMurray has one top-five and six top-10 finishes through the first 26 races of 2018. He failed to make the 16-driver, 10-race playoffs.