Here’s the positive view of inconsistency for a racing team: it means you had good moments in the prior season. Such was the case of Chip Ganassi Racing in 2017. Their drivers had a lot of positives to take away from the season that was, but both were disappointed with how it all ended.
Kyle Larson had his breakout season. With four victories, 15 top fives and 20 top tens, Larson looked all the part of a serious championship contender to Martin Truex Jr. He and teammate Jamie McMurray both made the playoffs, but in the case of Larson, his hopes went up in smoke with an engine failure at Kansas.
If you think about it, Larson has become a latter-day Tony Stewart for Chip Ganassi Racing. With Larson, you have a driver who cut his teeth on sprint cars and has established himself as a racer’s racer. Put this kid in a ride- any kind of ride- and he will find a way to win.
Larson expresses excitement about the new Camaros, hopeful that his 42 team can break free of the dips and dodges that kept him true front-runner status. Though he’s looking for improvement, Larson has already given Chip Ganassi Racing its most relevant driver in recent memory.
Jamie McMurray is the embodiment of a journeyman. He may not win you a ton of races, but he will get your car near the front, and he has had a knack for winning the big races, such as the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, and at Talladega. In one report, McMurray said he felt good about the 1 team’s performance on the intermediate tracks, but needed improvement on the super speedways and short tracks.
Chip Ganassi Racing has reason to be hopeful. Larson showed the way in recent testing at Las Vegas. In day and age when some your long-time teams are struggling to remain relevant, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray have succeeded putting the name Chip Ganassi back in the headlines.