McMurray surprised by fine

Jamie McMurray said he was stunned by NASCAR’s $25,000 fine for bumping with Kevin Harvick in the final moments of Sunday’s Talladega 500. Harvick was initially angry because he thought McMurray had triggered a late crash, and he bumped McMurray hard under the yellow. McMurray said he tried, during that part of the race, to ask Harvick what the problem was. The incident was triggered when David Gilliland squeezed McMurray up the track and into Tony Stewart, but that wasn’t evident to the men involved until they saw the replays.

“I didn’t think anything happened bad enough that would have called for a penalty or a fine," McMurray said. “I didn’t think it was that severe.

“I’d already called Tony Monday, and he was like ‘Hey, I’m not mad.’ And I called Kevin and asked ‘Why are you all fired up?’ And Kevin was like ‘Aw, I’m sorry. I thought you caused that wreck, and I just got hotheaded and lost it for a second. But I’m not mad.’

“Then I told Kevin ‘But it cost us $25,000 apiece,’ and he didn’t believe it.

“When Kevin first hit me, I didn’t know if he was joking or what, because I hadn’t done anything to Kevin. So I was trying to get up in of Kevin and put my hand out and ask ‘What are you doing?’

“But NASCAR thought I was swerving back at Kevin. I told NASCAR I wasn’t even mad at Kevin so I wasn’t swerving.

“John Darby (NASCAR’s Cup director) just said ‘What’s done is done,’ and I’ve agreed to accept that." Winston-Salem Journal

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