Jamie McMurray collected $1 million for winning the Sprint All-Star Race Saturday.
If you, the reader, won $1 million, what would you do with it? Id put half in the bank and spend the other half, giving some to family and charity and blowing the rest.
But we didnt win a million. McMurray did.
What did you do with it?
I havent done anything, McMurray says Thursday afternoon from his hauler in the Charlotte Motor Speedway infield.
You havent spent any?
The week has been really busy, McMurray says. I got to spend Sunday with my family. Then Monday was kind of all day at the race shop with a team lunch and doing a lot of media obligations. Then we left at 4:30 in the morning (Tuesday) to go to Kentucky for a Goodyear Tire test all day and all day Wednesday.
We got back somewhat early (Wednesday). We land and Im driving home and Matt Kenseth called and said that were having a family get together at his house, so I was over there until about 8.
McMurray, 37, earned that million. He started second on the races 10-lap final segment. He went outside and stuck to the quarter panel of the leader, Carl Edwards. McMurrays Chevrolet was perfect, and he never stepped off the gas. He blew past Edwards on the outside and cruised to the finish line.
McMurrays goal was to be on the front row for the final segment. His crew put him in position with a tremendous final pit stop. A year ago most of them were new enough to the sport that they were backups on his or other crews.
Crew chief Keith Rodden made the right call. McMurray made the final dramatic pass.
To get to make the move, its like every vein in your body is bulging because youre so pumped out, he says.
McMurrays reward was $1 million. And its just sitting there, wasting away, unspent and perhaps unwanted.
Im really frugal, says McMurray. Like, I dont waste money on things. And Im really lucky to have everything I have. When (wife) Christy and I were going to have our first kid I remember thinking, I hope I can I afford it. That sounds silly because Im really blessed. But I worry about money every day.
Are you frugal or cheap?
Frugal I would say, says McMurray. Early in my career I bought a few items that I lost a lot of money on. I built my first house and every time they said, Do you want to this? I said, Yes. They told me, Youll never get your money back.
But its very seldom that I do not buy everybodys lunch. And at dinner I always pick up the tab. So Im not cheap. Im not into wasting money.
What do you drive?
A Tahoe, a free car from Chevy, says McMurray.
You buy clothes?
I go shopping once a year and I dont have any clothes at home, he says. I have the same eight pair of jeans I bought two or three years ago and I still wear them.
Frugal? asks Felix Sabates. Hes cheap.
McMurray drives for Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates, and he and Sabates are close. Sabates says McMurray is like a grandson a grandson that does not like to spend money.
Says Sabates: I told him after the race, Now you can afford to put an air-conditioner in your house.
Hes building a house. I promise he knows how many stones the builders put in his driveway. He goes out and counts them.
Sabates counted on McMurray when he was hospitalized a few months ago for a heart issue. Sabates says McMurray was the lone team member to check on him every day.
Speaking of checks, theres that $1 million, by now probably covered with dust. Christy McMurray went to a birthday party at driver Casey Mears Tuesday, and drivers such Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon asked her what she was going to buy with the million.
Even they, who are not unaccustomed to money, figure the McMurrays ought to spend some of it.
What I thought was I can use that for my kids college, McMurray says.
How old are your kids?
Says McMurray: 1 1/2 and 3 1/2.
This is a wise man. By the time they get to college, $1 million might not be enough.
Sorensen: 704-358-5119; email@example.com; Twitter: @tomsorensen