NASCAR & Auto Racing

McMurray gets a little breathing room with finish

Before getting to Texas, Jamie McMurray was having to qualify on time because his No. 26 Ford had dropped below 35th in owner points.

The Roush Fenway driver has solved that problem.

McMurray made his second consecutive five-spot jump in those standings, to 26th, after finishing 14th at Texas.

After having to qualify on time at Martinsville Speedway, he drove to a season-best eighth-place finish in the No. 26 Ford.

Cup rookie Sam Hornish Jr., the former open-wheel champion driving for Roger Penske, moved up two spots to 34th and is guaranteed a spot in Saturday night's race at Phoenix. He switched places with Jeremy Mayfield, the only driver to fall out of the top 35.

David Reutimann, who took over retired driver Dale Jarrett’s points in the No. 44 Michael Waltrip Racing car, dropped another spot to 38th in owner points after finishing 41st on Sunday.