Rural Missouri - November 2010 - (Page 20)

The Miss Joplin native Jamie McMurray t Right: Jamie McMurray’s career as a race car driver began in Joplin when his father, Jim, put him behind the wheel of a go-kart at the age of 8. Today, Jamie has reached the pinnacle of his profession, racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and winning the sport’s most prestigious races. Even after 25 years of racing, Jim is still watching over Jamie’s shoulder. by Jason Jenkins jjenkins@ruralmissouri.coop just the third driver in NASCAR history to win these marquee events in the same season. In October, Jamie won his third race in 2010, tying him for third-most wins on the circuit this season, as of press time. With five races still left to run this year, there is no question that Jamie is in the midst of his best season ever in NASCAR’s premier series. In addition to his three wins, he also has set new career highs for pole positions — capturing four so far — as well as for the total number of laps led during the season. Jamie has finished in the Top 5 on nine different occasions in 2010, tying his career best. “It’s been a great season,” says Jamie. “We’ve had really fast cars and it seems like every week, we’re a contender to win. We were just a little inconsistent at the beginning of the year.” The inconsistency cost the 34-year-old a spot in the “Chase for the Cup,” NASCAR’s version of the playoffs, something that has eluded Jamie during his eight full-time seasons in Cup competition. Only a berth in the Chase affords an opportunity to win the Sprint Cup trophy. Hoisting that trophy is something Jamie has dreamed about since he began racing. His father Jim, a racer himself, bought his son a go-kart and put him behind the wheel at 8 years old. Jamie raced around the country in many different series, winning four United States Go-Karts championships from 1986 to 1992 and the World Go-Karting Championship in 1991. “When he was 16, I bought Jamie a modified race car, and before the year was over, I had bought him a late model,” recalls Jim, who was a racing engine parts salesman. “We ran all over, at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, at Bolivar Speedway and at I-44 Speedway in Lebanon. We did that for 2 or 3 years.” Jamie’s performance caught the attention of the late Bill Willard, who owned I-44 Speedway. Bill convinced his son, David, to field a car for Jamie beginning with the 1997 season. Jamie moved to Lebanon and worked alongside the Willards on his race car, winning the track championship that year. “He was young and full of energy,” says David, whose family stills owns the I-44 Speedway, which is served by Laclede Electric Cooperative. “A lot of drivers are herky-jerky. They’re on the gas, on the brake, on the gas. Jamie’s smooth. He’s just effortless around the track.” Jamie would continue to move up the racing ranks. In 1999, he started his first race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the thirdhighest division in the sport. “That started his career, and from there, if you L ike a lot of 10-year-old Missouri boys, Jamie McMurray remembers the excitement and anticipation that preceded a family trip to Springfield’s original Bass Pro Shops. “To go to Bass Pro, that was a treat,” he says of trips in the mid-1980s to the thennew shopping destination. “I’d plan it out for a week and couldn’t sleep the night before.” These days, however, the Joplin native does more than shop for his favorite fishing lures at the outdoor retailer — he represents the Missouri company as driver • Joplin of the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in the nation’s most popular auto racing series, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Jamie has been the toast of the 2010 season. In February, he stunned the racing world by winning the first race of the season and the sport’s largest — the Daytona 500. Then in July, this Missouri connection found victory lane again, winning the Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The accomplishment put Jamie in rare company. Not only is he the first Missourian to win these races, but he also is Above: Team members push the Bass Pro Shops car out of their garage bay as a practice session begins at Kansas Speedway. Right: No sport affords access to its superstars like NASCAR. Here, Jamie signs autographs for fans inside the garage area. 20 RURAL MISSOURI

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2010

Rural Missouri - November 2010
Contents
Comments
Columns
Mobility's Best Friend
Mail Bag
Rural Issues Explored at AMEC Annual Meeting
Out of the Way Eats
The Missouri Connection
Big Screen Savings
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Best of Rural Missouri
Lest We Forget
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - November 2010

Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Missouri - November 2010 (Page Cover1)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Missouri - November 2010 (Page Cover2)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Contents (Page 3)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Comments (Page 4)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 5)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 6)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 7)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 8)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 9)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 10)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 11)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 12)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 13)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mail Bag (Page 14)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mail Bag (Page 15)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Issues Explored at AMEC Annual Meeting (Page 16)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Issues Explored at AMEC Annual Meeting (Page 17)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Out of the Way Eats (Page 18)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Out of the Way Eats (Page 19)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - The Missouri Connection (Page 20)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - The Missouri Connection (Page 21)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Big Screen Savings (Page 22)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Big Screen Savings (Page 23)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Big Screen Savings (Page 24)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Hearth and Home (Page 25)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - News Briefs (Page 26)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Best of Rural Missouri (Page 27)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Best of Rural Missouri (Page 28)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Lest We Forget (Page 29)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Marketplace (Page 30)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Marketplace (Page 31)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 32)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 33)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 34)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 35)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Neighbors (Page 36)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Neighbors (Page 37)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Just4Kids (Page 38)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Just4Kids (Page 39)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Just4Kids (Page Cover4)
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