RACE PREVIEW: Daytona 500
Hello 2020 Season – The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season officially kicks off this weekend, as Ty Dillon and the GEICO Racing team take to the high banks of the legendary Daytona International Speedway. After posting the fastest speed in the opening practice session last weekend, Dillon will compete in the second Duel on Thursday evening to determine his starting position for Sunday’s main event. Two practice sessions, one on Friday and one on Saturday, will round out the schedule, before the green flag for the Great American Race waves at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 16.
Fresh Look, Same Partner – To commemorate a new season and decade together, the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE has a fresh look for 2020. While still in its traditional white, blue and green color palette, the new design will compete for the first time in Thursday night’s Duels. GEICO continues to be a long-standing partner of Germain Racing and will be Dillon’s majority sponsor for the Cup Series season.
Keeping the Streak Alive – Dillon has been running at the finish of the past 45 races, dating back to September 2018. This is the longest current active streak in the Cup Series and includes five superspeedway events.
Dillon at Daytona – Dillon has made five career Daytona 500 starts at the famed superspeedway, three of which have been behind the wheel of Germain Racing’s No. 13 Chevrolet. Overall, the 27-year-old has competed in eight Cup Series events at Daytona International Speedway, with the most recent resulting in Dillon’s career-best fourth-place finish in July 2019. In addition, throughout his career, Dillon has participated in nine NASCAR Xfinity Series races, three NASCAR Truck Series events (two top-10s) and one ARCA Menards Series race at the Florida track.
New Eyes in the Sky – For the first time in his Cup Series career, Dillon has a new spotter on top of the roof. Chris Monez will serve as Dillon’s eyes in the sky for the 2020 season. Monez, who most recently was the spotter for driver Matt Tifft, currently lives in California and is a veteran in the NASCAR garage.
Meet Dillon – Want to meet Dillon before the green flag waves on Sunday? At 11:15 a.m. ET, Dillon will stop by the GEICO Stage in the Fan Zone at Daytona International Speedway to chat, answer questions 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!
Tickets and Tune In – The Daytona 500 will take place on Sunday, February 16 at 2:30 p.m. ET. The 200-lap, 500-mile event can be watched live on FOX, while the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the live radio broadcast. Purchase your tickets now at NASCAR.com/tickets to experience the thrills of the Great American Race in person!
From the Driver’s Seat: Quotes from Ty Dillon
What have you learned in your past Daytona 500 starts?
“Just growing in confidence in my approach to this and trusting my instincts. And what I’ve learned over the years – with this being my sixth Daytona 500 – is to trust my instincts with the energy of the pack that I see in front of me and not worrying about the amount of laps in the race or how far into the race we are. But to be on the mindset of a little defensive driving, skill if our car is not the best car. If we have a really fast car that can lead lines, I change my approach sometimes. But if I have car that needs to be a pushing car or doesn’t have the steam to pull out of the pack, I just have to have a mindset of feeling the energy and back out when I need to back out and see what’s going on with the race. We just haven’t had that many races that finish with less than 10 cars. My goal is to be at the end of the race and have a restart in the top two or three rows, and we’ve done that the last couple races. So, I think doing that we give ourselves the best opportunity to win a race.”
What makes you so good at Daytona?
“I think it’s growing in confidence and trusting my instincts, and just feeling the energy of the pack. My first couple of attempts I would see things and feel things but not adjust to it. You’re trained as a NASCAR driver to just go, go, go and get, get, get. But trusting that, ‘Man, this just doesn’t feel right’ no matter how many laps are left, knowing that history shows there’s going to be a lot of crashes, has helped me. But just trusting my instincts and feeling the energy of the pack has helped me the last few races.”