After crashing out of the previous week’s race at Pocono and finishing 37th in a 39-car field, Jamie McMurray was in need of a solid bounce-back race Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.
The driver of the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet got it, too, finishing fifth in the Firekeepers Casino 400 at the speedy 2-mile track.
“It was great day for our McDonald’s Chevy,” McMurray said. “We started off really loose. It almost seemed like the track was going through a weird transition at the beginning, where you would get two or three good laps and then it almost was like you catch a gust of wind and have to hang on to the car.”
That’s where his team, led by crew chief Matt McCall, came in. They kept adjusting his car until they got it dialed in right.
Then McMurray took advantage of gaining several spots when the No. 21 Ford of Ryan Blaney suffered a flat tire and fell back on what turned out to be the next-to-last restart.
“You would slide up the racetrack, but they did a really good job adjusting on it,” McMurray said of his team. “We had great pit stops all day and good pit calls and got a little lucky with the No. 21 having a flat.”
It ended in just his second top-five finish of the season, and his first since Talladega in early May.
“There were a few things at the end that happened for us, but it was a good recovery from what happened with us last weekend,” said McMurray, who moved up to sixth in the points standings after falling from fifth all the way to eighth the previous week.
He also was pleased that his Ganassi teammate, Kyle Larson, won the race.
“Overall, it was a great day for our organization,” McMurray said.
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