Ty Dillon on Daytona: ‘Trust my instincts with my energy of the pack’

Photo By: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP

By Sarah Handy, Staff Writer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – Ty Dillon will embark on his sixth Daytona 500 when the green flag drops on Sunday afternoon.

Not new to the 500, Dillon weighed in on what he’s learned in previous Daytona 500 starts.

“Just growing in confidence in my approach to this and trusting my instincts,” Dillon said. “What I’ve learned over the years. This will be my sixth Daytona 500, just trust my instincts with my 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.”

“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.”

Dillon will roll off the grid in the 24th position in his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet for Germain Racing.

In his previous six Daytona 500 starts, he has a best finish of sixth coming last February.

Dillon stated that knowing what’s coming, preparing yourself and getting enough rest prior is key.

“I think it’s knowing the magnitude of race day. Even until last year and the year before, it just builds you up so much that you would be emotionally drained before you even got in the race car,” said Dillon.

“So, just knowing what’s coming, preparing yourself for the day ahead, and rest is so key this week because so much is going on. Just make sure mentally, physically and spiritually you’re ready for what you endure on the Daytona 500 day is key. You want to soak it in because not many get to experience the day. But you also want to take care of your body throughout it.”

Dillon has had previous experience at the 2.5-mile superspeedway prior to entering the Cup Series. He made nine starts at Daytona in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, capturing one top-five and two top-10 finishes.

Additionally, he’s made three NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series starts at the famed superspeedway. In those starts he has two top 10’s and three top-15 finishes. His best finish was sixth in 2013.

With that said, the 27-year old said you can’t learn the Cup car until your in a Cup race at Daytona.

“You can’t learn the Cup race until you get in the Cup race. I think I was a pretty good drafter in the Xfinity Series and even my rookie season in Cup. And I was; I did a good job and had some good races,” Dillon said.

“But the Cup level is a different level. It’s hard to explain. Everything almost starts new when you get to Cup. You are a talented driver, you have the experience in certain ways, but when you get to Cup you have to readjust, you have to put yourself back down to what feels like a local track level of learning and build yourself back up. There’s nothing that beats experience at this level.”

Ty Dillon 2020 Cup Series season preview

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