With Kurt Busch moving to the #1 Chip Ganassi Racing car for the 2019 Monster Energy Cup Series season, Jamie McMurray is out of a full-time ride. While he intends to remain with the organisation, he will also have a new full-time spot with Fox Sports as a studio analyst, as announced Wednesday.
“As Fox Sports built the new virtual studio in Charlotte, we were equally invested in hiring the right personalities for our NASCAR programming,” Fox’s Senior Vice President of NASCAR Production Steve Craddock stated. “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.”
During the 2017 and 2018 seasons, McMurray served as an analyst for various Xfinity Series races, while also hosting FS1‘s NASCAR RaceHub on occasion.
“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 RaceHub 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.”
McMurray tweeted, “Excited to join the @NASCARonFox team in 2019, and looking forward to this next chapter of my career. Thanks to all who made it possible!”
“Welcome to the team @jamiemcmurray,” four-time Cup champion and current Fox commentator Jeff Gordon tweeted. “Looking forward to working with you in 2019.”
Although a full-time driving career is over for McMurray, the possibility of running the 2019 Daytona 500 is not out of the picture, particularly thanks to a picture that was leaked online. A photo of a #40 Ganassi car sponsored by AdventHealth was posted to the /r/NASCAR subreddit; AdventHealth, formerly known as Florida Hospital, is a partner of McMurray’s.
The team has not commented on the matter nor made any formal announcements, but it is rumoured that McMurray will race the car during Speedweeks to open the 2019 season, which includes the Advance Auto Parts Clash. McMurray is expected to also remain with the team in a managerial position.
In 2002, McMurray made his Cup debut in Ganassi’s #40 Coors Light car as a substitute for the injured Sterling Marlin. After just two starts, he scored his first Cup win at Lowe’s Motor Speedway (now Charlotte Motor Speedway), which helped boost him to a full-time stint in the team’s #42. After a four-year tenure with Roush Fenway Racing between 2006 and 2009, he returned to Ganassi in 2010, where he won the season-opening Daytona 500. In 582 career Cup starts, he has seven wins.