RACE PREVIEW: Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
News and Notes
Lefts and Rights – The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) may be returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) for the second time this season, but Ty Dillon and the GEICO Military team will tackle the Roval for only the second time in series history. Dillon will make left and right turns during the Bank of America Roval 400 on Sunday, September 29. The No. 13 Camaro ZL1 will take to the track initially on Friday for one practice session, before qualifying later that afternoon at 4:40 p.m. ET. Dillon will have two practice sessions on Saturday, before the green flag for the 109-lap event waves at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon.
Return of the Geckoflage – For this weekend’s Roval event, Dillon and the Germain Racing team will sport the familiar colors of GEICO Military and the fan-favorite ‘geckoflage’. Did you know if you look closely at the side of Dillon’s Chevrolet that the camouflage is actually made up of military saluting geckos? GEICO is committed to serve those who serve us and has proudly served our military personnel since 1936.
Dillon at the Roval – Last September, Dillon competed in the inaugural event at the CMS Road Course, affectionately referred to as the Roval. Dillon piloted his GEICO Camaro ZL1 inside the top-20 for the majority of the race, before contact on the last lap relegated the No. 13 Chevrolet to a 22nd-place, lead lap finish.
Charlotte Native – While competing at CMS is seen as a home race for most members in the MENCS garage, primary transporter driver Ben Prince is a true Charlotte, North Carolina native who is celebrating his hometown roots this weekend. Prior to his career in NASCAR, Prince served honorably in the United States Army as a soldier in the 546 Transportation unit. Prince is currently in his first season as the transporter driver for Germain Racing.
Honor and Remember – This weekend, Germain Racing will honor Sergeant First Class Bryant Herlem and Sergeant First Class Jose Gomez of the United States Army. Herlem and Gomez were both killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom on April 28, 2006, in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their Humvee during combat operations. The GEICO Military team is honored to have Herlem and Gomez’s names riding with Dillon on the decklid of the No. 13 Camaro ZL1.
Meet Dillon – Fans will have three opportunities to meet Dillon prior to the green flag on Sunday, September 29 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. At 10:50 a.m., Dillon will stop by the GEICO Stage in the Fan Zone to chat and sign autographs. Fans can stop by the GEICO Stage throughout the entire weekend for swag, photo opportunities and to see the No. 13 show car in person. Immediately following the GEICO Stage appearance, Dillon will head to the Chevrolet Display, located in the Fan Zone, for a question and answer session, beginning at 11:15 a.m. Finally, at 11:45 a.m., Dillon will be a guest at Trackside Live! to answer fan questions. The Trackside Live! Stage is located on pit road inside the track.
Tickets and Tune In – The Bank of America Roval 400 will take place on Sunday, September 29 at 2:30 p.m. ET. The 109-lap event can be watched live on NBC, while Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the live radio broadcast. Purchase tickets to Charlotte Motor Speedway at NASCAR.com/tickets.
From the Driver’s Seat: Quotes from Ty Dillon
What did you learn last year at the Roval?
"I learned a lot every time we got on the track. I had to be patient at first, because it was very treacherous at the beginning with lots of people crashing cars. Our first goal was to not crash our GEICO Camaro ZL1 and then we wanted to get better every time we touched the track. We did that and were running pretty good, a top-20 finish for sure in our first try there, and got into it with (Daniel) Suarez on the last lap and probably lost too many positions. I feel really comfortable going back and I know the backstretch chicane will be different. I'm glad we won't be entering it at 180 mph and going into pretty much a launch zone. I applaud NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway for making some changes there and I'm interested to see what it will be like."
Do you think the new chicane will be better from a driver's standpoint?
"Anything is better than we had last year. It was just too narrow, too fast and too dangerous honestly. I think the new chicane will provide better racing. Last year's race was amazing and this year's race is going to be just as good."