Jamie McMurray won't be back in the No. 1 car in 2019

Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nascar/sprint/drivers/191/" data-ylk="slk:Jamie McMurray">Jamie McMurray</a> made the playoffs in 2017 and finished 12th in the standings. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Jamie McMurray made the playoffs in 2017 and finished 12th in the standings. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The No. 1 car is an option for drivers looking for a new ride in 2019.

Team owner Chip Ganassi told the Associated Press that Jamie McMurray won’t return to the car in 2019. McMurray, 42, has driven the No. 1 car since the beginning of the 2010 season.

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Ganassi says he’s offered McMurray a contract to drive the Daytona 500 next season, then move into a leadership role with the organization similar to the one Dario Franchitti holds. Ganassi says McMurray has not decided if he will stay with the team or seek a full-time driving job elsewhere.

McMurray has won seven races in his Cup Series career. Four have been in the No. 1, though he hasn’t seen victory lane since 2012. He won three races in his first season with the team. While McMurray has been winless in the past five-plus seasons, teammate Kyle Larson has won five races since the beginning of the 2016 season.

Kurt Busch is a free agent at the end of the season and may not return to Stewart-Haas Racing. Defending champion Martin Truex Jr. is also looking for a new team but it doesn’t seem likely that he’d be a candidate to move to Chip Ganassi Racing. Truex drove the No. 1 car in 2009 when the team was Earnhardt Ganassi Racing before moving to Michael Waltrip Racing in 2010 and making way for McMurray to drive for the team.

With the announcement that McMurray is vacating the seat, the No. 1 joins the No. 41 (Busch’s current car) and No. 95 car of Leavine Family Racing as cars officially looking for drivers heading into 2019.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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