CHEVY NCS AT TALLADEGA 2: Post-Race Notes and Quotes
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO FOR YOUR RV CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 3rd - "I'm so proud of the effort for Germain Racing and GEICO. We are all fighting for jobs next year, including myself, so that's the foot you want to put forward at one of these races winding down. It's been a great run with this team and hopefully we can all work together in the future. I knew it was going to be hard to push anybody in front of me with these noses having a little too much point, but our GEICO For Your RV Chevrolet had enough speed to hang in there. I fell back to sixth in line, but when they all started to get into each other, I knew my outlet was to the bottom to have a chance to win and that's what we are here for. I stayed on the bottom to hopefully be in position to win low if something were to happen. But to finish third - my personal career-best Cup finish and Germain's best Cup finish as a team - is something I'm really proud of. It was a fun day and a long day. Thanks to all the fans who came out today too. It was good to have them here with us. I'm just extremely grateful to GEICO and Bob Germain for everything they have done for me the last four years."
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 4th
“It’s tough not to get the win today but to finish fourth is good. It’s just unfortunate. We had a really good run there on the final lap and I got a good push from the 11 in (Turns) one and two that set that up. I was able to get to the 17 and push him and then found some daylight on the bottom to have a run at the 21. Unfortunately, he blocked us there and put us below the yellow line. Fortunately, though we were able to save it and still finish in the top five. Today was a good run for us. We really needed to finish a race after the last couple weeks and it’s good to have a result like today.”
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 CAT NEXT GEN DOZERS CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 7th
“That was a crazy race at Talladega Superspeedway, but I’m proud of my No. 8 Cat Next Gen Dozers team for rallying all day long. They worked really hard all race long to keep me in the game when we got into some trouble, and I really appreciate it. We got caught up in a wreck on Lap 1 that changed our game plan a little bit when we got some nose damage from the No. 95, but my team was able to make all the repairs quickly enough to get us back on our normal strategy by the time the competition caution came out. It was a lot about survival today with all the wrecks that were happening. I was able to squeeze through a couple big ones, but also got caught up in a couple others. Luckily, nothing was bad enough to take us out of the race completely. We just stayed focused, fixed what we needed to each time and kept fighting for every spot we could. It was a wild race today, so I’m happy we are able to come home with a seventh- place finish.“
RYAN PREECE, NO. 37 KROGER CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 10th
“What a race today at Talladega Superspeedway. To be able to bring home a top-10 finish in our No. 37 Kroger Chevrolet after the season we have had feels like a win. I wish we didn’t have as much damage there at the end and we could give a little bit of a better push, but ultimately we needed fuel for the final NASCAR Overtime and needed to pit from the front anyway. I’m really proud of our Kroger team to be able to fix the damage that we did have and keep us there at the front at the end. We’ve got five races to continue finishing out this season strong and I’m looking forward to ending the season on a high note.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER OFF ROAD CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 12th
“This team has a never-give-up-attitude and that is how we were able to finish so solid today in the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road/E-Z-GO Chevrolet. Last week was a real bummer, but we kept fighting and only lost eight laps changing a belt. Tonight, we changed an oil cooler behind the wall and only lost two laps, so this RCR team is special. They are true professionals. That was a fun race. We got our stage points in the first stage even with a little bit of damage. In the second stage, we just couldn’t keep up with the damage we had gotten, but to come back to 12th says a lot. This car is killed. I had a huge run down the backstretch at the end of the race. I pushed Brandon Poole way up there. Once I shoved him, I got to the bottom and then I don’t know what happened. The No. 2 car came across my nose and we lost a couple more spots at the end. It was probably a wild race for the fans to watch. I hope that we can make something happen at the ROVAL. We’re a little too far back in points, but we’ll see what we can do. A lot of things can happen. It’s easy to miss a shift. It’s easy to jump a curb and wreck. We need those guys in front of us to help us out, and see if we can help ourselves out a little bit, too.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 CHEVYGOODS.COM/PATRIOT FOUNDATION CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 14th
“This group of guys worked their butts off on pit road – very thankful for their hard work. Our Truck Hero Camaro, with Patriot Foundation on the side of it, was not really where we wanted it be to start the race. We made some changes, got it better and then I became a Ford sandwich there getting off turn two. I got pushed into the 10 (Aric Almirola) there – that was a bummer. If that was my fault, apologies to the 10. I felt like I got shoved into him, but it’s one of those deals you never want to be in that situation and crash somebody or cause a crash like that. So, bummed out about that.”
“It was a really long day. A lot of trips down pit road and we crashed like three times after that. Just tried to stay out of the crashes and kept getting caught up in more of them. But, I’m just glad we finished. We have a little bit of a buffer. We’re going into a little bit of a wild card race, but should have a good week ahead of us.”
YOUR CREW CHIEF, GREG IVES, TOLD ME THAT HE THINKS YOU CAN WIN AT ANY OF THE RACES IN THIS ROUND, SO THAT LEAVES YOU WITH THE ROVAL NOW. DO YOU SHARE HIS OPTIMISIM?
“Yeah, for sure. I think you have to go beat Chase Elliott, which is really tough to do at a road course lately. He’s got it so dialed in. They can give me all the same stuff that he has, take identical racecars, and he can still make it go a little faster. So, I’ve got my work cut out for me to try to match that and get as good as Chase is at that place. But I feel like we’re right behind him there and we can do a really good job there, as well.”
BUBBA WALLACE, NO. 43 WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Finished 24th
HE WAS RACING FOR THE WIN AND THEN, BUBBA, WHAT HAPPENED ON THE BACKSTRETCH?
“I don’t really know – I haven’t seen a replay yet. It was a big learning curve day for me. I think I came down on the No. 37 (Ryan Preece) there and started that whole deal, so that’s on me. It’s just unfortunate. It was a really good day for us in our Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 World Wide Technology Camaro ZL1 1LE. We’ve got a lot to look over and review, which is good. We led some laps and had a really solid car. Hats off to my guys for a really solid effort – getting it fixed there at lap one. It was definitely a hard hit, but all-in-all, we’re good. We’ll try to take what we can from today. I love coming to these plate races. It’s showing, but we didn’t get the finish that we deserved today. All-in-all, we’ll go to the Roval and have some fun.”
KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 GEARWRENCH CAMARO ZL1 1LE – Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident on lap 109; Finished 32nd
THAT WAS A ROUGH RIDE. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT?
“Yeah, it was a wild ride. That’s the nature of this sport. You’re on top one week with a win and everything’s fantastic. And then this week here at Talladega, we were hoping for a nice, smooth run and to gain some points. I was just doing my job as a Chevy helper running top-five and next thing you know, I’m going for one of the wildest rides I’ve ever been in.”
“Thanks to NASCAR safety. My sponsor GEARWRENCH this weekend, with Monster Energy, with Chevrolet. We were just trying to do the Chevy thing and get some points out of that stage. That’s just Talladega – the wild rides always continue.
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO FOR YOUR RV CAMARO ZL1 1LE, Press Conference Transcript:
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Ty Dillon, our third‑place finisher, driver of the No. 13 Germain Racing Chevrolet. Talk us through the third‑place finish, how it feels.
TY DILLON: It feels great. I'm sure everyone is aware our team announced it's selling and has been sold. The relationship between myself and GEICO and Germain Racing and all the 47 employees at Germain Racing is coming to an end.
We all promised each other when it was announced we would all give everything we had till the end. This was a statement for our team.
I can't thank everyone enough at Germain Racing, Bob Germain, Larry Rogers, all the people at GEICO, all the people that worked there over my four years that helped me throughout my four years here. I'm thankful for the opportunity and hopeful for the next opportunity. And hopefully some of us can get to work again, work together again. Hopefully this propelled some of us to get new opportunities next year as we're all searching.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions from the media.
Q. You talk about your next opportunity. Where are you at in those discussions for next year? Are you looking in the Xfinity Series as well, just Cup? Do you want to continue racing full‑time in NASCAR?
TY DILLON: Absolutely. I feel like I am one of the top‑level drivers in the Cup Series. I just need the correct opportunity. I proved in the Xfinity Series, every race I've won, if you go back and watch, I beat Kyle Busch, one of the best. He's finished second to most of my wins. Kevin Harvick. You look at the field that was in the win that I got at the Brickyard. Those guys were the best of the best. I've proved that I can do it. Just a matter of opportunity.
I absolutely want to be in the Cup Series. I feel like in the right situation over the right time I can win races, be a championship contender. My time is not up here. I definitely have a lot to prove still. I feel like I'm starting to reach the pinnacle of myself physically and mentally as far as a Cup driver.
As far as the opportunity, I have nothing yet. Hopefully this inspires some more talks and more sponsorship opportunities. It's getting to a tough place in the sport where you have to bring money with you as far as sponsorship. A little bit goes a long way right now.
If I have to take an opportunity to go down to the Xfinity Series, try to win races there, reprove myself, I'll absolutely take it.
I'm a hungry driver right now. I want opportunity next year to continue to prove what I can do, start fresh.
Q. You said this was a statement for your team. How is it a statement for you personally?
TY DILLON: Yeah, superspeedways are always a place that I've succeeded at and been successful at. I wanted to go out and at this point put together good runs. I have some anger built up, a little bit of fire, because I want that opportunity now for next year. I want it now because I believe in myself.
Any time we can take a chance when the field is equalized to prove ourselves, I feel like I want to make the most of it. Today was one of those chances. When you finish these races enough, it's not just by luck.
We haven't shown all the capabilities at some of the mile‑and‑a‑half tracks, but we've done it at short tracks. We've won stages. I think more it was a stamp on our race team and our years together. From here on out I'm going to try to do my best, continue to make statements to the owners out there and sponsors out there that if they take a chance on me, they won't be sorry.
Q. Most people would think it would be a no‑brainer you would end up doing something at RCR. Has that option been discussed for you?
TY DILLON: Yeah, I mean, I speak with my grandfather. He's involved in trying to make sure I get a ride. The opportunity really isn't there at RCR for me. They have two drivers who are under contract. It's not like I can bring enough money to start a race team over there.
Hopefully we can do something to work together with another team. But, yeah, I haven't really been an RCR driver now for four years. I hope people can understand that I can bring value to a team respectfully, not just because of who I am but because of my talent.
Like I said, I'm really eager to see what's next for my career.
Q. What is the biggest lesson you're taking from this 2020 season, one of change but the highest highs and the lowest lows?
TY DILLON: It's been an incredible season of life for myself. I have an incredible wife who just keeps things in perspective. Between her and I, we have a strong faith in Christ. We restore each other daily because the world can really get after you in times, especially with what's going on with the virus, also with the job. Then we have a little one on the way. Everyone who has children knows what that's like. We're so eager to meet our little boy Captain here in a couple weeks. That is going to be beyond anything that racing can bring to our life.
I think what the virus has done for me, as a kid I grew up racing, my family was at the racetrack every weekend, we were hardly in any different places. I was always playing sports.
We were able for the first time in my life to sit down and have dinner with my wife and my daughter for an extended period of time. My wife is a great chef. We got to spend time together. That was a really great experience, something I hope to continue for a long time with my children, make it a really important thing with our family. I think that's what I learned the most there.
Life can be up and down. Seasons come and go. If you're not rooted in a faith, in something stronger, you'll get tossed like the waves.
Q. Tell us how much of the hard work Bob has put on this race team the past couple of years? The run shows high volumes of what he's contributed.
TY DILLON: Yeah, I think Bob Germain has committed so much to this sport over a long period of time. He's a truck champion owner. He went from a start‑and‑park team to finishing third here today. I'm not sure if that's his best finish, but sure does feel like it.
I wanted to give him everything. I wanted to give him a win. I thought in my rookie year I'd give him wins and championships. This Cup Series is the real deal when you get up here. We had a lot to battle through.
We really have grown year after year. It is heartbreaking to see this is coming to an end for him and Germain Racing because of the commitment level he has had. It's a tough climate across the country, in this sport right now. I think we have great hopes for the future of this sport, the new model car and everything that's coming out, the way it's going to help financially.
But unfortunately the timing didn't work out for our race team. We hope for brighter days together in the future. We'll see what happens.
Q. NASCAR has already stated they're not looking at changing the yellow line rule. There was some question brought up about it as if this rule needs to change, still value. Are you comfortable with NASCAR saying they don't feel like they need to change? As a competitor, would you say, Hear me out, here is why I think it could be changed?
TY DILLON: The rule doesn't need to be changed. It's a product of what's going on right now. These cars are a bit easier to drive, stuck to the ground harder. The runs are happening twice as fast as they ever have.
Guys going below the yellow line, you got guys going for a win, guys not trying to wreck. It's not just you're hitting the ball and it's okay. It physically impacts you when you do crash.
Guys have a lot of things going on in their mind. Sometimes when you go below the yellow line, it's not totally your fault, but it is the rules. It comes down to a mental decision, am I going to lift or go below the yellow line.
We know the rules before we get here. I think if you were to open it up and take the yellow line away, you're going to have guys blocking all the way down to the grass, have twice as big of wrecks.
I don't think we want to open up that can the worms. We have plenty of racetrack we can go four‑ or five‑wide on. It's a product of what we do. I don't see anybody at any fault for any reason. I don't think anybody tried to bend the rules to get an advantage. I think it's just a product of what happens here.
Q. You said the runs are coming faster than ever. This package was supposed to keep the runs from being as fast compared to Daytona in February. Are the runs still just as fast?
TY DILLON: I think the runs are just as fast. The top speed is slower, which is helpful, especially when it comes to crashes. I think the impact rate, just being a driver inside the car, when things start happening, it is slower. Previously in the year when these crashes happened, it was like a snap and you couldn't react.
I think just slowing the speed of the car down gives everybody a little bit better chance. Slowing five to 10 miles per hour down when you're going that fast, hitting a wall, can do a lot for you in safety, too. I think that was the important call there.
Yeah, I mean, the runs are happening so fast, I'd say 20% of the times the spotters can't physically react in time. The drivers really have to be on it, feeling, knowing how things go. A little bit of patience goes a long way.
You can see guys being really aggressive and it does get you to the front with these cars because they have so much grip, you can push the limits. But there is also a counter strategy to surviving these things.
If you look at what the 11 did, the 4, a lot of guys who finished the race, they were patient all day, didn't put themselves in aggressive situations too early.
Q. What does it mean to deliver the best team finish with five weeks left?
TY DILLON: That feels great. I want to give them everything I have coming down to the end of our run together. I'm not a person that's built to quit in anything. I want to keep getting stronger every day of my life as a human. That doesn't change for racing, racing for a team. Really proud of that.
We got, what is it, six or seven more to go. See if we can possibly top that coming to the end. All in all it's been a great run, not just for the finishes but spending time and making relationships and memories with these guys.
Q. Looking at the stats, for drivers who have made at least five starts at Talladega, you have the best average finish with 12.0. What makes you good at this racetrack?
TY DILLON: I think patience. My wife always preaches patience to me when I come to these superspeedways. I had a pretty good run going at Daytona, too. You throw that Daytona 500 out, it's hard not to get a little anxious, get up in the middle of it.
I was a little mad at myself the last couple races at superspeedways. I was running inside the top 10, inside of two or three laps to go, got in crashes. The average finish would be even better if we would have finished those.
You don't always want to have to put yourself at the back at certain times. But I feel like I've got a sense, I don't get the hair standing up like Denny does, but I get a sense when things are about to get bad, focus on certain cars in the packs, certain attitudes and feelings I get. I try to navigate myself to a safe spot. Sometimes you'll find yourself falling back. But it works obviously.
Q. Do you have a shortlist of teams in Xfinity you would consider?
TY DILLON: I haven't really gotten there yet. Obviously I'd want to be in a ride that's competing for wins. But Xfinity is second on the list. I want to be Cup racing full‑time first. If all the doors shut there, I'll start knocking on the doors in Xfinity. We'll see what happens from there. God will bless us with some kind of opportunity whether it's Cup or Xfinity, who knows what.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Congratulations on the finish. We'll see you at the Roval.
TY DILLON: Thank you, guys. Appreciate your time.
TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
3rd TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO FOR YOUR RV CAMARO ZL1 1LE
4th WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1 1LE
5th CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE
7th TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 CAT NEXT GEN DOZERS CAMARO ZL1 1LE
9th BRENNAN POOLE, NO. 15 GOETTL CAMARO ZL1 1LE
10th RYAN PREECE, NO. 37 KROGER CAMARO ZL1 1LE
TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS:
1st Denny Hamlin (Toyota)
2nd Erik Jones (Toyota)
3rd Ty Dillon (Chevrolet)
4th William Byron (Chevrolet)
5th Chase Elliott (Chevrolet)
UNOFFICIAL CURRENT PLAYOFF RANK (Following Race 5 of 10)
POS. DRIVER (* = Chevy Contender)
1st Denny Hamlin (Toyota): 1 win
2nd * Kurt Busch (Chevrolet): 1 win
3rd Kevin Harvick (Ford): +68
4th * Chase Elliott (Chevrolet): +44
5th Brad Keselowski (Ford): + 41
6th Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota): + 32
7th * Alex Bowman (Chevrolet): + 22
8th Joey Logano (Ford): + 21
9th Kyle Busch (Toyota): - 21
10th * Austin Dillon (Chevrolet): - 21
11th Clint Bowyer (Ford): -38
12th Aric Almirola (Ford): - 48
The NASCAR Cup Series seasons continues at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course with the Bank of America ROVAL 400 on Sunday, October 11th,, at 2:30 p.m. ET, the elimination race for the Round of 12. Live coverage can be found on NBC, the NBC Sports Gold app, PRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.