Season Review: Jamie McMurray

Jamie McMurray

Though winless in 2017, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver put up 17 top-10 finishes - his best single-season mark since the 2004 campaign. (Photo: Getty Images)


2017 Race-by-Race Results | 2017 Detailed Statistics

Despite a second-round elimination from the Monster Energy Series Playoffs, Jamie McMurray can look back at one of the most consistent seasons of his NASCAR career.

Though winless in 2017, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver put up 17 top-10 finishes - his best single-season mark since the 2004 campaign. That consistency helped McMurray secure the No. 16 seed on the post-season grid and finish 12th in the final championship standings.

Jamie McMurrayHe was particularly adept on the 1.5-mile ovals, where the No. 1 Chevrolet recorded nearly half of those 17 top 10s - eight, to be exact.

"We had really good cars on those intermediate-sized ovals this season," McMurray said. "We'd have a few bad races and then hit one of those tracks that picked us all back up."

Indeed, the first six weeks of the season were spotty for the 16-year veteran. McMurray labored to a 28th-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500 and was barely holding onto a spot in the top 10 following a 38th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway in early April.

Lo and behold, next up on the schedule was one of McMurray's favored mile-and-a-half ovals. The team rebounded with a seventh-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway.

A month later, McMurray's season-best second-place finish (to Ricky Stenhouse Jr.) at Talladega Superspeedway helped the team build momentum for the second half of the regular season. A pair of well-timed top 10s followed at Kentucky Speedway and Darlington Raceway to help McMurray solidify his playoff credentials.

"We've been so consistent and run so well, I feel like we're going to make it through a round or two of the playoffs if we just keep doing the same thing we've been doing," McMurray said on the eve of the post-season opener at Chicagoland Speedway. "But you're only as good as your last race."

McMurray was steady in the first round with finishes of 10th, 16th and 9th to advance into Round 2. A fifth-place finish at Charlotte seemed to bode well for a deep playoff run before a pair of DNFs at Talladega and Kansas Speedway ended McMurray's title hopes.

He ran to the finish in each of the four remaining races, closing the year with a 13th-place showing in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Jamie McMurray"Hard to believe it's already the final race of the season," said McMurray, whose thirst for more competition quickly carried him into the off-season, where he'll run a full marathon on South Carolina's Kiawah Island this Saturday morning.

From there, it's back to work on the 2018 season - which will be his 13th at CGR. McMurray is eager to get behind the wheel of the newly designed Chevrolet Camaro which will debut in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

"Everyone's excited about that and finishing the year," McMurray said. "Before you know it, we will be talking about getting back to Daytona."

Speedweeks 2018 will open in 63 days!

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