RACE PREVIEW: Phoenix Raceway
Desert Bound – As the three-week west coast swing for the NASCAR Cup Series concludes, Ty Dillon and the GEICO Racing team will return to the desert once more to compete at Phoenix Raceway for the first time in 2020. The No. 13 Camaro ZL1 1LE, adorned with its refreshed primary scheme, will take to the Avondale, Ariz. track for two practice sessions on Friday afternoon, before qualifying on Saturday at 2:35 p.m. ET. The green flag will wave for the FanShield 500 at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 8.
Dillon at Phoenix Raceway – Dillon has made eight career NCS starts at Phoenix Raceway, six of which have been behind the wheel of Germain Racing’s No. 13 Chevrolet. The 28-year-old has completed 99.7% of the laps competed overall in the Cup Series and posted six top-20 finishes, including the last three consecutive events. Dillon’s best result was an 11th-place effort in the fall of 2017 and in the 2019 spring event, the young gun recorded a 15th-place finish. Throughout his career, Dillon has participated in nine NASCAR Xfinity Series races (two top-fives and seven top-10s) and two NASCAR Truck Series events (one top-five), as well as two K&N West Pro Series races (two top-fives) at the one-mile, tri-oval track.
Camera Rolling – This weekend at Phoenix Raceway, Dillon will carry an in-car camera, providing fans access to see unique angles of his laps around the one-mile track. In addition to the traditional driver cam, roof and rear bumper views, the GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE will sport a left-front bumper camera. Tune in to the FOX broadcast to see what Dillon sees during the 312-mile event.
Tickets and Tune In – The FanShield 500 will take place on Sunday, March 8 at 3:30 p.m. ET. The 312-lap 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 Phoenix Raceway.
From the Driver’s Seat: Quotes from Ty Dillon
We are going back to the short track package from two years ago. With things changing so quickly in this garage, how much has changed since then?
"It's going to be interesting to see with all the changes in the sport - the body and technology being developed - what still overlays. Our GEICO Camaro was really good two years ago at Phoenix and we were really strong on the short tracks with that package. I'm excited to go back and hopefully it does overlay. I think some of the things that we've learned in the past year, we will be able to apply too. It's always a new adjustment period when you have a big change like that in any aero package, even when you're going back to one that is familiar. I'm sure we will have to learn through it as much as everybody will and now we are deciphering between two totally different aero packages, from short tracks to speedways, which will be another learning curve this year. And then we will throw it all away and do it different in 2021."
Last season was the first with the flip-flop of Phoenix Raceway. Did it make much difference on the starts and restarts in the last two races there?
"Yeah, I think so. I think it's made more passes and more interesting for me. There were a lot of times where I was able to run the top through one and two and gain a lot of positions that helped our finishing position near the end of the race. Or I could run really low through one and two. When you're starting on the frontstretch, a lot of that is sorted out if you start at the old start-finish line. Now, a lot of that is sorted out in what's now three and four, where there's not a lot of opportunities to pass and guys are single-filed out. But when you're starting out in what's now four, going into one, you have that wide turn, passing becomes more available and you're going to get more action. I think it created an overall better racetrack. While it doesn't sound like a lot, with just changing where you start, it absolutely has."