Jamie McMurray said he would be tempted to enter an IndyCar Series road course event after thoroughly enjoying his car swap with Scott Dixon at Barber Motorsports Park on Wednesday.
Earnhardt Ganassi NASCAR driver McMurray and Ganassi IndyCar driver Dixon tried each other's machines in the promotional event, as 2010 Daytona 500 winner McMurray sampled Dixon's Dallara-Honda before the double IndyCar champion tried McMurray's Sprint Cup Chevrolet Impala at Talladega.
In five flying laps McMurray got down to a 1m19.8s at Barber, around eight seconds off the top pace from the IndyCar test at the venue earlier this week.
"I didn't want to come in," he said. "It was way more fun than I thought it would be. It felt as if I never turned the wheel, it was that smooth. The Cup cars slide around a lot and I think that's probably where the speed is that I didn't have in this car, knowing the threshold that if it breaks loose how much you can hang on to it.
"The acceleration was way more than I expected because the horsepower is less than the Cup cars so I thought the acceleration would be a fair bit less. I couldn't believe how fast the car took off.
"I never pushed it very hard in the corners to feel how much grip it has for fear I'd lose my other job. When we run Watkins Glen and Sonoma, the whole race is about sliding around the corners. In this car, the sensation of speed was more in acceleration and braking.
"The cornering did not feel that much faster, even though it was. The car had so much grip and control that when you're going around the corner 30 miles an hour faster than a Cup car I didn't sense the speed. But the acceleration and braking [was a] big-time difference.
"I was glad they called me in because I kept picking up two seconds a lap, and at some point that ends and you wind up dropping a wheel off the track and get into trouble. I would love to get to run a road course race."
Dixon said the swap had been McMurray's idea originally.
"Jamie watches our sport and he's really got in depth with go-karting so for him to come and try the IndyCar is special," Dixon said. "He's the one who brought it up to Chip [Ganassi] and then we came up with the idea of the whole swap because I wanted to try the other car, too. It all worked out perfectly here."