RACE PREVIEW: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Return to the Brickyard – For the final regular season event of the 2019 season, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) takes to the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) for the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard. Ty Dillon and the GEICO Racing team will arrive at “The World Capital of Racing” on Saturday for two practice sessions, with qualifying taking place on Sunday morning prior to the green flag. The 400-mile event will begin shortly after 2:00 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon.
Kiss the Bricks – Dillon is no stranger to IMS, as the young gun won his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the famed track in 2014. After outmuscling Kyle Busch on a restart with 24 laps remaining, Dillon would never relinquish the lead before capturing the checkered flag and completing the traditional kissing of the bricks celebration.
Dillon at Indianapolis – Dillon has two career MENCS starts at IMS, both for Germain Racing in the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet. The 27-year-old has an average finishing position of 20, while completing 99.4% of laps competed. Dillon has also participated in six NASCAR Xfinity Series events at the 2.5-mile rectangular oval, earning one win in 2014, two top-five and five top-10 finishes.
State Fair Visit – Last month, Dillon visited Indianapolis for a day at the Indiana State Fair. The GEICO Racing driver led the daily parade in the IMS Corvette, served milkshakes in the famous Dairy Barn, enjoyed traditional fair games and signed autographs for attendees. In addition, Dillon spoke with local media in preparation for this weekend’s event and saw this year’s cheese sculpture, honoring heroes in the dairy industry.
Indianapolis Connection – Road crew member Mike Chase has a special connection to the Brickyard, as he participated as a driver in the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1994. For the inaugural race only, NASCAR reserved a provisional starting spot for a Winston West competitor. Chase, a Redding, California native, received this spot as the current points leader, before later going on to win the Winston West Championship that same year. After hanging up his driver suit, Chase has spent decades in the premier NASCAR garage and now serves as the shock specialist for Dillon and the No. 13 Germain Racing team.
Tickets and Tune In – The Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard will take place on Sunday, September 8 at 2:00 p.m. ET. The 160-lap event can be watched live on NBC, while the IMS Radio Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the live radio broadcast. Tickets to Indianapolis Motor Speedway can be purchased at NASCAR.com/tickets.
From the Driver’s Seat: Quotes from Ty Dillon
What are your emotions when you head back to IMS, a track you won your first Xfinity race at?
“Every time I go to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I feel like I have a little heads up on the competition because I know what it’s like to go to Victory Lane there and have the feel of the car that can win there. I’ve not yet had it in the Cup Series, but I know what to look for. When you’ve been to Victory Lane somewhere before, it’s hard to describe the difference you have walking around the track, making laps and the confidence in your speech when talking about what your car needs.”
What are your thoughts on the new aero package at IMS?
“It’s kind of a big unknown, honestly, and I’m not sure what to expect. You’re trying to make these long straightaways as long as you can, because that’s where all your momentum is going to be made and where the passes are going to happen. In order to do that, you’ll need to navigate Turns 1 and 3 perfectly so you can be full throttle in Turns 2 and 4 and get a good run down both straightaways. But knowing what it’s going to take to have a dominant car or a winning car, nobody knows.”