RACE PREVIEW: Talladega Superspeedway
Hitting the High Banks – As the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) heads to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for the final restrictor plate race of the 2019 season, Ty Dillon and the GEICO team will look to continue their superspeedway success during the 1000Bulbs.com 500 on Sunday, October 13. The No. 13 Camaro ZL1 will hit the high-banked, 2.66-mile oval on Friday for two practice sessions, before qualifying on Saturday afternoon at 4:35 p.m. ET. The green flag for the 500-mile event will wave at 2:00 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon.
Throwing Back to 1969 – Announced earlier this week, Dillon will honor his grandfather, Richard Childress, with a throwback scheme for this Sunday’s race. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Childress making his first NASCAR premier series start at Talladega Superspeedway, his youngest grandson, Dillon, will sport the same green design that Childress did in the fall of 1969. The Germain Racing entry will feature key elements of Childress’ 1969 design. The No. 13 font is the same as Childress’ Camaro. On the tail, the letters, W-S, N.C. signify Winston Salem, N.C., the town that Childress called home. The iconic Chevrolet Camaro logo can be found on the lower rear quarter panel, and above the driver’s door, Childress’ name is proudly shown, while Dillon’s name will ride on the right side.
History Rewind – Bill France Sr. opened Talladega Superspeedway in 1969, but due to circumstances, the then driver’s association pulled out of the event. In order to compile a full field, France Sr. proposed to Childress and other drivers in the Grand American series to compete in the premier series the following day to receive the purse money. The money Childress earned in that event 50 years ago allowed him to purchase land, build his first shop and lay the foundation of Richard Childress Racing (RCR). Germain Racing, who is in a technical alliance with RCR, now has a shop on this same land.
Superspeedway Success – Together, Dillon and the GEICO Racing team have reached great success at restrictor plate races. In addition to finishing the last five MENCS races at Talladega on the lead lap, a skilled accomplishment only achieved by missing the multi-car accidents, Dillon captured his second career stage win earlier this season in the GEICO 500 at the Alabama superspeedway. The 27-year-old also posted a sixth-place result in this year’s Daytona 500, before recording his career-best Cup Series finish of fourth in the July event at Daytona International Speedway.
Dillon at Talladega – Dillon has made five career MENCS starts at Talladega, all of which have been behind the wheel of the No. 13 Germain Racing Chevrolet. While completing 100% of laps competed overall in the Cup Series, Dillon’s highlight came in this year’s spring event, when the GEICO Camaro ZL1 won the opening stage of the GEICO 500. This marked Dillon’s second stage win of the 2019 season. Throughout his career, Dillon has also competed in five NASCAR Xfinity Series races and two NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series events (one pole). In addition, Dillon started from the pole and won the race in his lone ARCA Menards Series race at Talladega in 2011.
Meet Dillon – Fans have two opportunities to meet Dillon before the green flag waves on Sunday, October 13. At 9:50 a.m. CT, Dillon will stop by the GEICO Stage in the Midway 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! At 10:15 a.m. CT, the GEICO Racing driver will make an appearance at the Germain Racing Merchandise Hauler, located in the Midway, to sign autographs for those who have received a wristband throughout the weekend. Stop by to purchase your Dillon and GEICO gear, including tees, hats, diecasts, can coolers and lanyard holders!
Tickets and Tune In – The 1000Bulbs.com 500 will take place on Sunday, October 13 at 2:00 p.m. ET. The 500-mile, 188-lap event can be watched live on NBC, while Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the live radio broadcast. Purchase tickets to Talladega Superspeedway at NASCAR.com/tickets.
From the Driver’s Seat: Quotes from Ty Dillon
50 years later at the same track, you are running your grandfather’s paint scheme from 1969. What are the emotions of honoring your grandfather this weekend?
“I think it’s really cool that we are running a throwback scheme of my grandfather’s original No. 13. Looking back over history, as a kid, I didn’t even know that he ran the No. 13, but when I got my opportunity with Bob Germain and Germain Racing, we dug up some old photos and found the car. I’m happy to be honoring him and Talladega, the place where it all got started for him and so many big things were started for our family. It’s going to be a huge weekend and I’m proud to honor his great career and everything that he has made since that time. It’s a unique looking No. 13, different from what you see every weekend with our GEICO Camaro, but I’m really looking forward to running this paint scheme.”
What are your thoughts about restrictor plate racing and the first three superspeedway races already in the books this season?
“We have had a really strong year at the restrictor plate races. Just staying out of trouble is very key for us at Talladega and giving ourselves an opportunity at the end of a race to go for a win. We go to superspeedway races with the intentions of winning the race and our GEICO team feels like it’s a great opportunity for us. The biggest unknown is staying out of the crashes.”
Are restrictor plate races mentally draining as a driver?
“It’s hard to not leave there without a headache. You are thinking at such a higher level of reaction and focusing in two different directions pretty much the whole time. It is by far the most mentally draining race.”