Saturday night in Kansas City, KS, Ty Dillon drove the No. 13 Twisted Tea Chevrolet SS 400 miles in the "Go Bowling 400." The 267-lap race started out under the setting sun and ended under the dark of night. The sun caused significant visibility issues as it set, but it didn't get the headlines.
With the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers carrying speeds in excess of 200 going into the corners at Kansas Speedway, brakes actually snared a significant amount of press. The caution flag flew 15 times for 61 laps and the race featured a red flag for just shy of a half hour.
The Twisted Tea pit crew had great stops throughout the night, complete with a wide variety of changes. In the early laps, corner entry was the main chassis concern. As changes were being made and laps were logged the handling in the center of the corner became more problematic. After the sun set, crew chief Bootie Barker asked Dillon what one thing he felt he needed most to make the Twisted Tea Chevy run better for him and the answer was simply: Grip.
Barker couldn't change track conditions, but, he and the Twisted Tea crew were able to manage the fresh tire sets to give Dillon a stickered set to end the night along with a couple subtle changes on the final pit stop that made the car much better for the rookie of the year contender.
When the checkered flag waved, Barker and Dillon were all smiles and the Twisted Tea Chevy that began 22nd ended the night in 14th place.
"Ty, you did great. (Spotter) Billy O, you did great. Crew. Solid. Solid.That's what we needed. P14, good job everybody," said Barker.
"Man, did this team fight hard. We struggled in the first two stages to find the perfect balance for our No. 13 Twisted Tea Chevrolet. We spun when we stayed out with old tires, but we didn't get too much damage and were able to recover. It started coming to us there in the final stage, but it was just impossible to pass cars. We really needed track position that we just didn't have. We picked up some spots at the end with the cautions, though, and brought home a solid top-15 finish. We have a lot of notes to take back with us on our intermediate-track program. There is still some work to do, but we'll get there," said Dillon.