Trading places: McMurray, Dixon swap rides
by Lavonte Young
Mar 17, 2011 | 1644 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jamie McMurray, left, and Scott Dixon pose in front of each other’s cars Wednesday.
Jamie McMurray, left, and Scott Dixon pose in front of each other’s cars Wednesday.
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NASCAR’s Jamie McMurray and Indy Car’s Scott Dixon traded rides on Wednesday afternoon. McMurray drove Dixon’s No. 9 Target Honda around a few laps in Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds. The drivers then traveled east to Talladega, where Dixon climbed into McMurray’s No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet and drove a few laps around the 2.66 miles tri-ovala track.

“This place is massive,” said Dixon, a two-time IndyCar Series champion. “I’ve spoken before (about) how Indy is large as well but just the sheer size of this and how it’s spread out. When you’re going out there, you feel really lonely by yourself. It would be nice to maybe have a few other cars out here and maybe take the restrictor plate off to see the full power of these kinds of cars at a track like this. I really enjoyed it. It was a definite eye-opener. Definitely a fun, fun thing.”

The car swap was to promote both races that place in April. The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is April 10. A week later, Talladega Superspeedway will host the Aaron’s 499.

Both drivers brought their owner Chip Ganassi’s cars back intact. That almost didn’t happen as McMurray spun out on Turn 10 on his third lap.

“I wasn’t even pushing the car when I spun it out,” McMurray said. “I was actually just cruising there. I stepped on the gas a little quick and I don’t think the tires were warmed up enough. The car just had some much more acceleration than what I expected. I know I keep saying that, but that is the one thing that really stuck out to me.”

One of the things that gave McMurray problems while driving Dixon’s car was his vision.

“I was trying to lift myself up in the car. so I could see where I was going. It is really a fun racecar to get to drive,” McMurray the 2010 winner of the Daytona 500 said.

McMurray believes that Dixon really didn’t get a chance to experience Talladega like the Sprint Cup drivers.

“It probably would have been more fun for him to get to drive our car at Barber, because you could have done a little bit more. ”I was actually shocked how excited he was when he got in. I guess it is the same thing for me, I was nervous when we got to Barber. Pulling into the track your nervous start kicking in and I could tell Scott was completely relaxed.

Getting in and out of a Sprint Cup Car is something that Dixon had to adjust to.

“They’re definitely pretty hard to get in and out of,” Dixon said. “I thought ours would be more difficult but you just come from the top and slide, here you’ve got to ‘Dukes of Hazzard style and slide through the window. And then get your legs in, and there’s things you can hit your head on. That probably wasn’t the toughest part, but getting into it is not easy.”

I was actually shocked how excited he was when he got in. I guess it is the same thing for me, I was nervous when we got to Barber. Pulling into the track your nervous start kicking in and I could tell Scott was completely relaxed.

Contact LaVonte Young at lyoung@dailyhome.com.

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