MCMURRAY HELPS TO LIFT SPIRITS
By Reid Spencer, Sporting News
HAMPTON, Ga. -- Considering the cause, Jamie McMurray didn’t mind getting to the racetrack early on Friday morning.
During an event orchestrated by Chevrolet, McMurray and fellow drivers Clint Bowyer and Ron Hornaday Jr. each spent more than an hour giving rides in pink Camaro pace cars to breast cancer survivors at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“It’s probably one of the coolest parts of getting to be a NASCAR driver, the ideas that the sponsors come up with of ways to give back to communities or to individuals,” McMurray told Sporting News after posing for photos with the pink T-shirt-clad survivors. ‘This was probably the most energetic group of humans I’ve ever been around. It’s interesting how, when someone’s been through something as devastating as breast cancer, their perspective is different on life and how energetic they are.
“I kept hearing the word ‘spirit’ every time someone would get in the car. It was really cool this morning, getting to be a part of this and see how excited they are. I told somebody (that) you give pace car rides, and sometimes people don’t act excited, so you get in the car, and you don’t really know what to do to make them be excited. Those women were all very excited right from the get-go, so that was fun. It was a good day.”
The Camaros hit a top speed of approximately 130 mph during the ride-arounds. McMurray kept things interesting for the participants by driving close to the outside wall at the 1.54-mile track.
“I got as close as I could get -- because that’s the thrill,” McMurray said. “Once you go 130 miles an hour for a minute, it’s not thrilling anymore, but when you get up against the wall, that never gets old. You can see them start grabbing parts of the car tighter, and so they don’t have to scream. You know that they’re having fun. “