CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jamie McMurray has no regrets about the ebbs and flows of his career since his 2002 Sprint Cup debut with Chip Ganassi Racing.
There was a win in his second career start as Sterling Marlin’s injury replacement, then two near misses on the Chase for the Cup championship field. He eventually decided the Ganassi organization was too small for him and he wanted to try something bigger, at Roush Fenway Racing, where he spent four unsatisfying seasons.
Looking for a new home in 2010, he wound up back with Ganassi, where they won three of the biggest races of the year in a breakout year for driver and owner.
But there was no follow-up, no momentum, as 2011 and 2012 were rebuilding years for the entire organization.
Through it all — only two wins with Roush, no appearances in the Chase in nine seasons — has McMurray never kicked himself for leaving Ganassi after the 2005 season. Instead, he views it as a learning experience that shaped his adulthood, led him into marriage and fatherhood, and helped him become content with his career.
“For me, meeting my wife, some of the people I dated leading up to that, made me pick what I wanted and what I didn’t want and the same thing with going to a different race team,” McMurray said. “I realized that where I was at (Roush), I wanted things the way they are done here (at Ganassi) and I wanted to be treated the way I am treated here.
“I’m really happy now. As a driver, I went through the couldn’t wait to get out of here and go on to the next thing,” he said. “And now I know what it’s like at other places. I think most drivers would like to stay where they are for their careers. Especially if they can be successful. I think there are very few people in the garage who are like ‘I can’t wait to get out of here and go somewhere else.’ Most want to stay where they are and work it out.”’