Jamie McMurray found himself in a unique situation back in November when his Monster Energy Cup Series crew chief, Matt McCall won the Thanksgiving Classic Late Model Stock Car race at Southern National Motorsports Park.
Usually, the 41-year-old veteran texts his crew chief with a playful or jab or insult, but that wouldn’t do with McCall celebrating one of the biggest victories of his career.
“Yeah, we always have like a big group text that typically is making fun of each other, but at that point we were all just kind of asking how he was doing,” McMurray said. “I can’t remember where I was. I wasn’t near a computer. And so I think Frank (Bonsignore,) our tire guy, was on one of the websites kind of keeping up and he was keeping us up to date.”
Bonsignore likely had much to update them on with the post-race shenanigans that ultimately confirmed the victory for the 36-year-old driver turned engineer. McCall crossed the line first but there were questions about the placement of his transponder and how that may have aided in his triumph.
Ultimately, McCall was officially named the winner after a thorough post-race technical inspection. The victory came against some of the toughest names in the discipline, including four-time NASCAR national champions Lee Pulliam and Philip Morris.
“It was really cool for Matt,” McMurray said. “That was special. He put a lot of work into that. I didn’t grow up racing with those guys, so I don’t really know who the good guys and the bad guys are in Late Model racing right now. And, Matt explained to me that these were some of the better guys. It’s hard to go back and do any form of racing, and win. It’s one thing to go back and just do it, but to go back and win is exceptional.”
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