Strengths – Jamie McMurray is a solid driver across many different track types. In 2017 look for him to have his best days at intermediate tracks, short tracks and shorter flat tracks. He’s also a capable road course driver.
Weaknesses – Jamie McMurray is a risky fantasy prospect at restrictor plate tracks. He’s a tempting option with two wins at both venues but his risk level is high. Bigger flat tracks in recent races have also been a notable weakness.
Track Type Fantasy Value Key = Elite > High > Medium-High > Medium > Low
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – High
At intermediate tracks Jamie McMurray is a very capable driver. On a weekly basis at these tracks you can typically count on him being a high-single digits to low-double digits driver. Last year on this track type he scored the 7th most points, had a 10.5 average finish, and had a result in the top ten 76% percent of the time. Last year at these venues he also did a good job avoiding trouble on the track because he only once finished outside the top twenty and in that race he easily looked top ten good (Kansas #2). In the three prior seasons on this track type McMurray scored the 16th, 11th and 13th most points.
In 2018 at intermediate tracks look for McMurray to once again be a high single-digits to low-double digits driver on a weekly basis.
Flat Track Fantasy Value – High
On a year to year basis McMurray has proven to be a solid flat track driver. Last year on this track type he scored the 14th most points, his five year average points ranking at these venues is 10.8. In 3 of the 4 seasons prior to last year he scored the 11th most points.
At flat tracks I’ll note I like McMurray more at the shorter flat tracks. Last year at shorter flat tracks he scored the 9th most points. On a weekly basis at these venues look for him to be a low-double digits to mid-teens driver who’s capable of sneaking in top tens.
At the bigger flat tracks his level of performance hasn’t been as high and in terms of fantasy value at these tracks specifically I would say he’s a “Medium”. At Indy he has five straight results between 15th to 20th. At Pocono over the last five races he’s finished 15th or worse.
Short Track Fantasy Value – High
Jamie McMurray is a really good short track driver. At all three short tracks he’s capable of finishing in the top ten, and if things go well he might even be able to sneak in a top five. In terms of fantasy value on this track type I would describe him as a High.
Last year at short tracks minus both Martinsville races where he had trouble his average finish was 11th. His two troubled races last year led to him scoring the 16th most points. In the two prior seasons on this track type he scored the 9th and 2nd most points.
In terms of ranking McMurray at short tracks I would go Martinsville, Bristol and then Richmond. At all three tracks as long as he has an incident free race he should finish low-double digits or better.
Martinsville has been a great track for him. As you read above he had problems in both races last year, but it’s the only track on the schedule where he’s finished in the top ten 50% of the time.
At Bristol he’s been a very solid competitor. Last year he finished 12th in both races. Over the last 7 races at Thunder Valley he’s finished between 8th to 14th.
At Richmond he’s been strong. Last year he had results of 6th and 14th. Over the last nine races at “The Action Track” he has a 9.0 average finish and a 10.4 average running position.
Restrictor Plate Track Fantasy Value – Medium-High
Jamie McMurray is a high-risk/ high-reward driver at plate tracks. He’s capable of finishing really well, but the chance you’ll get burned is high. I’ll note I really don’t feel the most comfortable picking him, but every once in a while he finishes extremely well.
At both plate tracks he has two wins but statistically they both rank as some of his worst tracks. Talladega ranks as his 20th best track, and Daytona by virtue of his 23.3 average finish ranks as his very worst.
Last year at plate tracks McMurray had a strong car in every race but he wrecked half the time. In the two races he didn’t wreck he finished 2nd (Talladega spring race) and 14th (Daytona in July).
If you want to roll the dice on somebody in 2018 at plate tracks he isn’t a bad option since he’s shown a lot of speed recently. I’ll note he’s historically been a better option at Talladega.
Road Course Track Fantasy Value – High
Jamie McMurray has proven to be a capable road course racer. Last year on this track type he scored the 12th most points and had a 12.0 average finish. In the four prior seasons to that his average points ranking was 13th. In terms of fantasy value on this track type I think it’s clear he ranks right around the top quarter of the field.
Between the two already existing road courses McMurray typically performs at a higher level at Sonoma where he’s finished in the top eleven in 3 of the last 4 seasons. At Watkins Glen he’s also been solid finishing between 8th to 14th in 4 of the last 5 races. In 8 of the last 10 races between the two road courses McMurray’s finished between 4th to 14th. In 2018 on this track type I think we should once again look for him to finish around that range at all three road courses.