RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- After he was unable to strike a deal with Ricky Rudd last month that would have brought the Winston Cup veteran to his team, car owner Chip Ganassi announced Jamie McMurray would be his third driver for the 2003 NASCAR season.
Garage area speculation centered on John Andretti as a possible candidate for the third car, but that proved to be false. Andretti currently is the driver of the Cheerios Dodge for Petty Enterprises.
ChevronTexaco announced Saturday at Richmond International Raceway that it has entered into a multi-year agreement with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates to sponsor the Texaco/Havoline Dodge with McMurray as the driver.
McMurray is a young driver currently in the NASCAR Busch Series.
"This is the right move for me, and I am pleased to be part of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates," McMurray said. "Chip's use of new technology has been introduced into every aspect of his NASCAR Winston Cup Racing teams.
"I am especially proud to drive ChevronTexaco's Havoline car. Havoline has been an
excellent sponsor in NASCAR for many years, and I am very humbled to be driving for them."
McMurray is in his second full season in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series. He steadily has moved his way up to ninth in the championship points standings with two top-five finishes and nine top-10 finishes in 25 races.
"The addition of ChevronTexaco adds a lot of experience and energy to this team," said Ganassi, who is also a team owner in the Indy Racing League and the CART series. "Havoline has a successful history in NASCAR and I am excited about our new partnership with them.
"Jamie is a sought-after young driver with a great work ethic and the talent to win a lot of races in the future and we will provide him with every resource and opportunity to succeed on our team."
Texaco ends its long-time association with rival team owner Robert Yates. Davey Allison, Robby Gordon, Kenny Wallace, Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett, Kenny Irwin Jr. and Rudd all have driven the Texaco-sponsored car for Yates.