By: Jeff Wackerlin – @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on September 16, 2017 | 9:40 A.M. EST
Larson (7.8) and McMurray (8.7) rank second and third, respectively, in average finish among all drivers in the six races that have been contested so far this season at 1.5-mile tracks. (Photo: Getty Images)
JOLIET, Ill. – For the second consecutive year Chip Ganassi Racing will have both Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray in the playoffs.
The duo have been strong on the 1.5-mile tracks this season and are ready to try and continue that trend in the post-season. Larson (7.8) and McMurray (8.7) rank second and third, respectively, in average finish among all drivers in the six races that have been contested so far this season at 1.5-mile tracks. Sunday’s Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway will mark the first of five tracks that have the same length in the 10-race playoffs.
Larson qualified sixth for the playoff opener, his second-best start at the intermediate, 1.5-mile, tracks this year.
“I was hoping to be a little bit better, but we got kind of caught on the track there when the No. 77 (Erik Jones) spun out,” Larson said. “That was a wasted run for us, a wasted run on tires. So, it actually ended up being better than what I thought we might end up. So, we will go with it. Our Target Chevy has been good so far this weekend and I think we learned some things that will help our race trim.”
Larson finished second in four of the races at 1.5-mile tracks with two of those coming from starting spots of 32nd and 40th, respectively, at Texas Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway after inspection issues prevented him from posting a time.
Heading into the first race of the playoffs, Larson ranks second in the standings and had tallied 33 playoff points as a result of his four race wins, three stage wins and a 10-point bonus for finishing second in the regular season standings.
One of Larson’s favorite tracks on the schedule is the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway, the site of the Championship 4 race.
“Homestead to me is by far my best racetrack,” Larson said. “I have a lot of fun there, go really