RACE PREVIEW: Pocono Raceway
This weekend, NASCAR is making its second and final trip to Pocono Raceway of the 2018 season. After a penalty brought down what would have been a great run for the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 team last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Ty Dillon and his crew head to Pocono with confidence in the speed and capabilities of their cars. Looking to keep improving in the second half of the season, the team sees every race as an opportunity to continue making strides.
Dillon has five previous starts at the “Tricky Triangle” in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. With an average start of 28.6 and an average finish of 19.4, his best finish of 17th place came in the second race of 2017 with the GEICO Racing team. Although the NASCAR XFINITY Series will not be at Pocono during this trip, Dillon has participated in two of the three races that the track has hosted. He has an average start of 11.5 and an average finish of 5.5. He earned his best finishing spot in the track’s inaugural race in 2016 when he brought home a podium finish in third place. Dillon has also run two NASCAR Camping World Truck series races at Pocono and scored his best finish of sixth place in 2012.
Dillon Weekend Chatter
Is Pocono a track that gives you a real sensation of speed?
“The front straightaway is so long that it reminds you of Indy a little bit with all that speed you are gathering going into Turn 1. Then you get to Turn 1 and it’s so tight that you have to slow down to what feels like a really slow pace, and then you wind the motor back up down another long straightaway. You have three totally different corners, so it’s very interesting. You kind of approach it a little bit different than most tracks you go to that are the same in each corner. When you have three totally different corners, you are kind of dissecting the race track almost the same way you do a road course. It’s not that it feels like a road course, but the way you think about what you need in the race car is the same. The track is definitely a challenge, but I think we can get our GEICO Camaro ZL1 handling how we need it to.”
It’s difficult to set up a car to be good in all three turns at Pocono. How do you decide which turn at Pocono comprise on?
“My GEICO Racing team tries to focus on Turns 1 and 3 because those are the longer straightaways that you have coming off of those two corners. The Tunnel Turn is something that, as a driver, you can work on throughout the day to make your car get through there a little bit better. I have run pretty well there in the past in both the Cup and XFINTIY cars, so I’m looking forward to going back to Pocono. I really enjoy racing there. It’s one of my favorite tracks and one of my favorite areas to go to.”
Dillon will kick off NASCAR’s weekend in Pennsylvania at the Pocono Raceway Fan Fest on Friday night! Dillon and Joey Logano will go head-to-head in a fan-voted challenge. Get involved with the voting process through the track’s website and social media platforms!
When: Friday, July 27 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Infield Block Party, Main Stage (Infield)
On Sunday, Dillon can be found in the fan midway with the GEICO Gecko! He will be at the GEICO display to get race day started by answering fan questions, taking photos, signing autographs and more!
When: Sunday, July 29 from 11:30 – 11:50 a.m. ET
Where: Pocono Raceway Fan Zone