RACE RECAP: ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Atlanta Race Weekend is Capped off with 15th-place Finish for Ty Dillon in the GEICO Chevy
Race: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Date: Sunday, March 5, 2017
Starting Position: 26
Finish Position: 15
Sunday the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series took on Atlanta Motor Speedway for the final time in its current state in the 325 lap/500.5 mile "Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500" race. Fans at the Hampton, Ga., track were treated to beautiful weather throughout the weekend and Atlanta racing that delivered sneaky plot changes throughout the course of the afternoon. The next time the Monster Energy Series returns to Atlanta, the track will have been completely repaved.
Ty Dillon qualified the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet in 26th place. He took the green flag there and immediately set off on a steady pace to pick off positions.
Dillon finished Stage 1 of the race in P18, and at the end of Stage 2, he ranked P19. Throughout Stage 3, Dillon and the crew worked to regain two laps lost during the very long green flag runs that made up much of the early stages of the race.
This week, the team's plans to make up lost ground in the third and final stage worked. Dillon wheeled the GEICO Chevy to a 15th-place finish.
Dillon talked about the 325-lap race:
“These Germain Racing boys unloaded a fast No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS for me this weekend. We were running pretty steady there in Stage 1 and made it up into the Top 20. We got behind early on with our pit stop late in the stage, but we kept trying to adjust the car to keep up with the track as it cooled down. Our GEICO Chevy would just take off tight on restarts, driving like it had too much wedge in it. It almost felt as if the left rear tire was out-driving the right front. But Bootie Barker and the team kept working with wedge and air pressures to get us in a good spot. It was such a tricky balance to find, but we made a lot of progress in the final stage. The adjustments helped and we really had a car I could race out there. We were able to play with strategy to take two wave-arounds and get both of our laps back at the end. There just weren't enough laps left at the last restart to get up to the front, but we showed the field what this team is made of. I'm proud of how hard this team worked. It was a well deserved top-20 finish, and I can't wait to get to Las Vegas next week."
Next Up for the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, on Sunday, March 12, 2017, for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Kobalt 400 on FOX at 3:30 PM ET.
QUALIFYING: ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Race: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Date: March 5, 2017
Time: 2:30 PM ET, FOX TV, PRN & Sirius/XM Radio
Opening Practice: 17th
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series got on track at Atlanta Motor Speedway today for opening practice and qualifying. The No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS posted 17th quick time in opening practice at noon today and qualifying began at 5:45 PM ET.
After about five minutes of the 15-minute clock had expired, many cars began taking to the track to log their qualifying efforts. Driver Ty Dillon charged into turns one and two with a near pole-winning quickness, but lost ground as he brought the GEICO Chevrolet back around through turns 3 and 4 to complete his timed qualifying lap. His first effort ended up not fast enough for the top-24. He attempted again, improving his time, but still not quite making the cut-off to be inside the top-24 by the end of round one.
Dillon, a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate, discussed today's qualifying efforts...
"I had a really good lap through one and two. The GEICO Chevrolet SS was running really good. I just kind of got a little overly aggressive through three and four. That bottom line is very, very sensitive. You have to be whoa'd down to kind of catch it and once you catch it, you can get back to the throttle. I just missed it. The guys gave me a good car, I'm just disappointed that I kind of messed up."
Dillon will start 26th in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Tomorrow the team is back on track again at noon for final practice. Watch it live on FS1.
FOLDS OF HONOR QUIKTRIP 500 – Tune In!
March 5, 2017
325 laps / 500.5 miles
2:30PM on FOX and PRN/SiriusXM
or get a ticket at nascar.com/tickets
The Driver’s Wheel…thoughts from Ty Dillon
…on Atlanta getting repaved?
“I’m not overly ecstatic about it. I love Atlanta Motor Speedway because of the worn-out surface. But, the track has got to do the necessary changes to create what they think will deliver better racing and help the track. It’s going to be kind of bitter sweet racing the GEICO Chevrolet there this year knowing that the track is not going to be the same when we go back.”
…on what he thinks he’s learned since making his Cup Series debut at Atlanta in 2014?
“I think the biggest thing is the preparation level and the level that you have to step up to as a driver going to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. I have the experience of running races and knowing how hard I’m going to have to prepare to be competitive week-in and week-out. There is still a lot to learn being a rookie, but having that experience is definitely going to be helpful to me with the GEICO Chevrolet program.”
…on what makes Atlanta unique from Charlotte and Texas?
“I think what makes it unique is the worn-out surface, which, unfortunately, they are going to change. Atlanta, Texas and Charlotte may all be very similar now. You hate to see that happen. At Atlanta, you can go out on fresh tires and run some of the fastest laps of any race track you go to all year and then 10 laps later you are running some of the slowest laps. That is what is so much fun about racing at Atlanta.”
…on running both MENCS and NASCAR Xfinity Series this season?
“It’s going to be a tough year physically and mentally having to switch back and forth, but who gets to say they get to drive a Chevy Camaro and Chevy SS every weekend in two of the highest NASCAR levels? I think it’s going to help me be even more prepared for my rookie season in the Monster Energy Series. I think the more track time I can get is going to be great. I’m looking forward to the challenge, and I’ve been working out hard this off-season to get ready.”
Crew Chief Quips:
Bootie Barker…on racing a track like Atlanta…for the final time on the surface:
“Atlanta has really been its own kind of animal for years now, so we aren’t losing anything by going there knowing the surface is going to be torn up after we leave. So many of the tracks have their own characteristics now, even looking ahead to California and Michigan... On paper, they should be similar for preparations, but, they aren’t. California has gotten bumpy so it changes a lot. Back on Atlanta, it really takes a lot different setup than a Texas or Charlotte. A Vegas weekend can kind of give you some more notes that may cover more of the mile and a half tracks, but Atlanta has been so unique. We’ll take our GEICO Chevrolet there this weekend and look forward to the new notes we’ll get to make there in future races.”
…on what comes to Atlanta following the season kickoff in Daytona:
“Obviously, leaving the Daytona 500 early like we were forced to do isn’t how we wanted our season to start. But, we had some adversity to overcome, and it gave us a chance to really work together on the GEICO Chevrolet SS. I feel very good about what this team can accomplish going into Atlanta and any race weekend after what we have worked through so far.”
Both cars have been completely refreshed and updated from their last appearances in 2016. Chassis 518 becomes the primary for Las Vegas after this trip.
Ty Dillon made his MENCS debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2014
Sunday’s 500.5-mile race will be his third Cup start at Atlanta
Dillon has three NXS starts at Atlanta with 3 top-10 and 2 top-five finishes
Dillon secured his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win at AMS in his first visit to the track in 2012; he finished second in his next NCWTS visit to AMS
Germain Racing has one win at AMS, 2006, NCWTS
Germain Racing has 21 Truck Series, three NXS and 10 MENCS starts at AMS