From the Marbles

2012 season in the rear view: Jamie McMurray

Nick Bromberg
From The Marbles

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(Getty)

Vitals: 21st in the points standings. 0 wins, 0 top 5s, 0 top 10s. 3 DNFs.

Moment to remember: After back-to-back top 10s at Las Vegas and Bristol, Jamie McMurray finished 10th at Pocono, the 14th race of the season. And that was it. For the rest of 2012, McMurray resided in the land of the mid-teens to the mid-20s.

His best run came at Talladega in the fall, when he led 38 laps, but then this happened while McMurray was running fourth:

Moment to forget: Before those consecutive top 10 finishes, McMurray's race ended early at the Daytona 500 because of a crash and at Phoenix because of an engine problem and was 36th in the points standings after two races.

The wrap: McMurray got up to as high as 16th in the standings after the first Talladega race, but fell back to 20th the following race at Darlington and hovered around the edge of the top 20 the rest of the season.

And surprisingly, it was an improvement from last year. Just two years removed from a three-win season in 2010 that featured 12 top 10s, McMurray hasn't won since and has finished in the top 10 just seven times. He was 27th in 2011.

It's safe to say that the quality of equipment has been a signficant factor in the downturn of the performance of both McMurray and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya. But is the solution to the team's woes as simple as switching engine providers? Not even the fastest car on the straights can compete without turning in the corners.

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