After scoring his first top-10 finish of the season, Jamie McMurray said the NASCAR off weekend had come at the right time.
“We’ve run OK. We certainly haven’t run as well as we did today,” McMurray said post-race in Texas. “You try to learn in the offseason and some of the stuff that we tried at the beginning of the year didn’t work out. So, we went back similar to what we had last year and we ran really well on the 1.5-mile [tracks] and our performance was way better today than it has been all year long.
“So, hopefully we can continue to work with that setup and those parts and perform each week.”
Finishing third Sunday afternoon, McMurray gave credit to the strength of the car on long runs and being able to avoid the numerous caution flags. Prior to the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, he had not finished better than 16th and had one DNF.
Starting 24th, McMurray acknowledged the slick, one-groove Texas track was not conducive to passing. On restarts, the No. 1 Chevrolet was often trapped in the outside lane.
“So, it takes a long time,” said McMurray. “You work on guys. Our car, fortunately, was pretty good on older tires. We didn’t have as much fall-off, but it’s still hard to pass.”
McMurray was the bright spot for Chip Ganassi Racing after teammate Kyle Larson crashed on Lap 128.