McMurray joins Fox Sports as NASCAR analyst

UPDATE 4: 12-12-2018

Veteran NASCAR driver and 2010 DAYTONA 500 champion Jamie McMurray has landed his next full-time ride. McMurray joins FOX Sports for the 2019 season as a NASCAR analyst for NASCAR RACE HUB, the sport’s most-watched daily show, and NASCAR RACEDAY, among other duties.

McMurray, who wrapped his 16th MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES season in the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet last month, jumps from the race car to FOX NASCAR’s brand-new, state-of-the-art virtual studio in Charlotte.

“As FOX Sports built the new virtual studio in Charlotte, we were equally invested in hiring the right personalities for our NASCAR programming,” said Steve Craddock, SVP of NASCAR Production, FOX Sports. “Jamie McMurray brings a fresh-off-the-track perspective and a modest likeability everyone can relate to. He is a great addition to our team.”

McMurray tested the television waters with appearances on NASCAR RACE HUB as an analyst in late October and early November. Additionally, he offered analysis in the FOX Sports broadcast booth for NASCAR XFINITY SERIES races at Pocono Raceway (June 2018) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 2017).

“As my driving career got closer to the end, I thought about doing TV but wasn’t sure until I did a couple of NASCAR RACE HUB shows at the end of this year,” McMurray said. “I really enjoyed it more than I expected. It’s a whole new world, but that’s what I am most excited about – the new challenge and discomfort that comes with doing something completely out of my element.”
During his Cup career, the 2003 Rookie of the Year amassed seven wins, 63 top-five and 168 top-10 finishes, in addition to a victory in the 2014 NASCAR All-Star Race. McMurray is one of only three drivers to have won the DAYTONA 500 and the Brickyard 400 in a single season (2010). In addition, he and Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Kyle Larson formed the winning team for the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona. With the feat, McMurray etched his name in the record books as one of only four drivers to find Victory Lane for the Daytona 500 and the Rolex 24. Racing legends A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti and FOX NASCAR analyst Jeff Gordon are the only other drivers to have won both races.

— Fox Sports —

UPDATE 3: 12-8-2018

UPDATE 2: 12-5-2018 Left unsettled amid Tuesday’s fanfare that anointed Kurt Busch as the new driver of Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 1 Chevrolet was the organization’s plan for Jamie McMurray, who has held the seat for the last nine seasons.

Team owner Chip Ganassi says he anticipates that McMurray will stay, hinting at the potential for a new capacity with the team’s management.

“Well, first of all, I do expect Jamie to stick around, yes,” Ganassi said Tuesday in a joint teleconference with Busch. “And as we talked about, we are going to have some announcements forthcoming on that subject.”

“So, I think, as I’ve said before, I want him to continue on with our organization and I think in the coming weeks you will find that out. I think he is somebody that can take a lot of stock in any of the success that this team has or happens in the future. Jamie can take a lot of stock in that in helping bring a level of maturity to the organization when it was badly needed.”

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UPDATE 11-16-2018: Jamie McMurray hasn’t decided if he will race the 2019 Daytona 500 for Chip Ganassi Racing, but he has made peace with his NASCAR career essentially being over.

And because of the advice of his peers and his own experience with pursuing a ride, he’s ready for it.

“I’m really fortunate that I wasn’t the first of all my friends, so I’ve talked to (Greg) Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Casey Mears last week,” the No. 1 Chevrolet driver said Friday after practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “I’ve talked to a lot of drivers that have recently went through it, and everyone’s story is exactly the same. And so if I feel the way that they do, I’m looking forward to three to four races into next year.”

McMurray said he will make a decision “soon” on Ganassi’s offers to drive in a third car for the team at Speedweeks 2019 and take on a management role with the organization (similar to that of Dario Franchitti with Ganassi’s IndyCar team), but there’s “just a lot of other things that I’m going through trying to figure out that I can’t say, but I hope I can soon.” He said he is considering other racing opportunities (though virtually ruled out sports cars).

But if he races at Daytona International Speedway, that likely will be it in NASCAR’s premier series for McMurray, who is wrapping up his 16th full season (and his second stint at Ganassi, where he has driven Cup from 2002-05 and ’10-18).

“I had opportunities to drive, they just weren’t opportunities I wanted,” he said. “I was fighting for one of the (open) rides. There was a point that honestly I looked at it, and I was like, ‘I don’t know that I want them to call me back.’

McMurray said he probably will reveal his future plans on social media.

Original post 11-6-2018