RACE PREVIEW: Darlington Raceway
Southern 500 Roots – After a much deserved off-week before the final stretch of 12 consecutive races, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) now heads to Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina for the historic Bojangles Southern 500. Ty Dillon and the GEICO Racing team will start their date with the “Lady in Black” on Friday with two practice sessions, before qualifying on Saturday afternoon. The green flag will wave Sunday evening under the lights.
Dillon at Darlington – Dillon has two career MENCS starts at Darlington Raceway, both in the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet. The 27-year-old captured a 13th-place finish in 2017, after fighting for a top-10 result in his inaugural MENCS start at the 1.33-mile track. Dillon has also six NASCAR Xfinity Series events under his belt and completed 99.9% of laps competed.
Return to White Scheme – After sporting the GEICO Military colors for the past three months, Dillon will return to the white-and-blue GEICO scheme for this weekend’s event at Darlington. This will be the first time this design has hit the track since Pocono Raceway in June.
Darlington Native – Road mechanic Travis Owens is once again returning home to the Palmetto State. The Darlington native is a NASCAR veteran, who has been a part of the sport for his entire life. The second-generation crew member and nephew of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, Owens is currently in his first season as a crew member on the Germain Racing team.
Meet Dillon – Fans will have two opportunities to meet Dillon prior to the green flag on Sunday, September 1 at Darlington Raceway. At 2:50 p.m., Dillon will stop by the GEICO Stage in the Fan Zone to chat and sign autographs. Fans can visit the GEICO Stage throughout the entire weekend for swag, photo opportunities and to see the No. 13 show car in person. Following the GEICO Stage appearance, Dillon will sign autographs at the Germain Racing Merchandise Hauler, located in the Fan Zone, beginning at 3:15 p.m.
Tickets and Tune In – The Bojangles Southern 500 will take place on Sunday, September 1 at 6:00 p.m. ET. The 367-mile event can be watched live on NBC Sports Network, while MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the live radio broadcast. Tickets to Darlington Raceway can be purchased at NASCAR.com/tickets.
From the Driver’s Seat: Quotes from Ty Dillon
What are your thoughts about heading to Darlington Raceway?
“I love going to Darlington. I fall more and more in love with it each time that we go back. You have to take care of your equipment when you’re there, and I enjoy that style and mentality of racing. It’s one of the few old-school races that we have left in that sense.”
Do you remember your first trip to Darlington as a kid?
“I went down with my grandfather on a Sunday morning. He had flown home from somewhere, so we drove down on race day in his Corvette. This was back in the day when pit boxes just had one or two boat seats on top of it. He and I sat up and watched the entire race. I don’t think they won that day, but they ran pretty well. We drove all the way home that night together. It’s probably one of the strongest racing memories that I have as a kid.”