The latest capitol report from Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, is centered around the visit of Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray, a Joplin native, to Jefferson City this week:
Many Missourians that were glued to their televisions last week as one of our own, Jamie McMurray, came into the final laps of the biggest race in NASCAR, the Daytona 500. Our guy in the #1 car had Dale Earnhardt, Jr. on his tail, but history on his side, and Jamie McMurray held them all off to take the checkered flag. It was my honor to be a part of his “victory lap” in Jefferson City this week.
Jamie McMurray made the trip to the Capitol with his #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet Impala in an exciting show on Thursday. It was a thrill to see the car in action, and I joined Gov. Nixon, Lt. Gov. Kinder, President Pro Tem Shields and House Speaker Richard in greeting Jamie and welcoming him to the state Capitol. I also had the pleasure of introducing Jamie to my fellow senators and presenting him with a resolution to recognize his accomplishment and to show my gratitude for his hard work. He was joined by Johnny Morris, owner and founder of Bass Pro Shops, an important business to our state and the Southwest Missouri area.
At age 8, Jamie McMurray began racing go-karts in his hometown of Joplin. By 1991, he had earned the title of World Go-Karting Champion. During the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series racing season, Jamie made himself known on the NASCAR scene by scoring two victories and finishing sixth in the point standings. He started off this year with a bang by taking the sport’s most prestigious race. It is an honor that this accomplished Missourian hails from the 32nd District, and I was privileged to introduce him to my Senate colleagues this week.
With his recent victory in the Daytona 500, Jamie has proven to be an accomplished racer, but he’s also a great man who is a strong advocate for autism because of his personal experiences with the disorder. Having a niece with autism, Jamie developed a partnership with the Autism Society of America and helped create the “Driving Autism Awareness” campaign. He continues to help raise awareness and express the importance to continue research for autism.
In my line of work, I’ve been fortunate to meet many of Missouri’s finest, and I’m proud to say that our hometown son is certainly one of them. Jamie has shown great humility and poise, and he’s also displayed the steel nerve it takes to come from behind and win the fastest race in our country. Jamie McMurray now holds a place in history with all of the great racing champions of the Daytona 500, and I’m proud to add a Joplin native to the list of famous Missourians.
Now, let’s root Jamie on to the cup!
(Photo: Jamie McMurray, his wife Christy, John Morris, Sen. Nodler's wife Joncee, and Sen. Nodler in Sen. Nodler's capitol office.)