Jamie McMurray matches 2016 top five total with Michigan finish

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While Kyle Larson was busy fighting for his second NASCAR Cup win of the year, Jamie McMurray was silently earning his second top five.

McMurray used three cautions in the last 20 laps of the FireKeepers Casino 400 and pit strategy to overcome a mid-pack day to finish fifth. With it he matched his top five total from 2016.

His other top five this season was finishing second at Talladega.

“At the beginning of the race it was weird,” McMurray told Fox Sports 1. “It seemed like you could run a couple of good laps and then I don’t know if you’d catch a gust of wind or what happened, but it would send the car up the race track. And it wasn’t just me. I saw the No. 88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and the No. 2 car (Brad Keselowski) going through the same thing. But our guys did a really good job of adjusting on it.”

McMurray finished Stage 1 in 16th and only improved to 14th by the end of Stage 2. His average running spot was 12.88.

“We had great pit stops,” McMurray said. “And it’s a really good recovery from what happened to us last weekend.”

Last weekend at Pocono Raceway, McMurray crashed near the end of Stage 2 when his brakes gave out as he slowed to navigate Turn 1. The damage from the crash and the heat from the brakes caused the back of his No. 1 Chevrolet to catch fire as McMurray quickly exited the vehicle.

It was his third DNF of the year.

A week later, Chip Ganassi Racing put both of its cars in the top five for the first time since the 2016 finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“I know Chip (Ganassi) is in France right now (for the 24 Hours of Le Mans) and probably thrilled,” McMurray said. “I hope he’s still awake. But overall, it was a great day for our organization.”