NASCAR Cup Series

Ty Dillon Hopeful Heading Into 2019

For the third straight year, Ty Dillon will return to Germain Racing to pilot the No. 13 Chevrolet in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, hoping this season can be the time for him and his team to see a step improvement.

Despite Germain’s relationship with Richard Childress Racing, the team is still developing and has not been able to produce the big results weekly like the powerhouses of the sport. Through his first two years with the organization, Dillon has finished 24th and 27th in points and has had only one top-10 result, which came last year at Daytona International Speedway.

However, with the changes going on in the sport, and a new rules package being implemented in 2019, the 26-year-old expressed hope for a turnaround in the near future during Wednesday’s media day. His demeanor comes after taking part in the preseason test session at Las Vegas Motors Speedway.

“I think this package suits me extremely well,” Dillion said. “I’m an aggressive driver, and the just couple of tests we’ve done with this package, early-on in the runs, even though our car might not have had the best long-run speed, I’m able to do things that I couldn’t do last year with that package. I think there were two times where I was able to start behind guys like Brad (Keselowski) and Kyle (Busch) and my brother (Austin Dillon) and I went four-wide with Clint (Bowyer) and Kyle and Brad and passed all three of them, twice, at the test.  That’s something different that I wasn’t able to show last year. I think this package allows me to show some of my aggressiveness and I’m excited for these re-starts for our team.”

For many of the smaller teams, the hope is that this new rules package will level out the competition to a degree, with Dillon and Germain among wanting this to be the case.

“Like I was saying, the opportunity was there for me at the test to make moves that I wasn’t able to make in the past just because we didn’t have that raw speed and power to make that aggressive move,” Dillon said. “We just didn’t have the steam in the past. I think this package gives guys like myself and guys in the back the opportunity to make big differences on the restart. I don’t know how it’s going to look by the end of the year and how we all shake out, but I think the opportunity is better for us as a team at Germain Racing, even if we were racing that other package, we feel like we’ve taken a big step as a team that we’re going to have plenty of opportunities to be fast week-in and week out.”

In addition to his confidence, Dillon has a set a high bar for himself and his team this season.

“We all want to win,” Dillon said. “I think we all have the mindset to win a race this year. And we all have the mindset to make the Playoffs. I think that’s a very possible thing for us this year. I think that’s where our goal is set. We don’t want to have the pressure of having to do anything, but we know that what we can accomplish. And I think winning a race is very possible. There are opportunities all throughout the year.

“Even in my rookie season, we had opportunities. So, we know that’s very possible. I think for me, my main goal is to make the Playoffs this year. And I’m very determined to do that and to do whatever it takes to do so. I think we have the opportunity to really surprise a lot of people and look back at one of the teams that took one of the biggest steps. Hopefully, today is the first day that marks the start of huge growth and opportunity for our team.”


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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

NASCAR Cup Series

Dillon Hopes Speed and Confidence Lead Him to Victory

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After 17 events this season, the Chevrolet camp only has a single victory in 2018. As we have witnessed throughout the year, the Chevy’s have been mediocre and came up short of a win again last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

Germain Racing’s Ty Dillon is hoping to join his older brother Austin Dillon in the win column with a victory at Daytona International Speedway this weekend.

“It be huge, it be a really fun thing for our team and we know we can get it done, we almost got it done last year,” Dillon told POPULAR SPEED.

The North Carolina native is not only looking for his first win of the season but his first top-10 of his career. Dillon has certainly had an uneasy year, with his best finish of 13th at Texas Motor Speedway.

The high banks of Daytona are a test to drivers, but it takes speed and luck to head to victory lane. Though after qualifying on Friday, Dillon feels confident he can pull off his first victory this weekend.

“I think so, it’s got some good speed there in qualifying that’s always something that you need here at Daytona. It takes a little luck, takes some confidence and make sure you miss some of the crashes and staying up front,” Dillon said.

Dillon enjoys running on superspeedways and is no stranger to racing in the front of the pack. During last year’s event, he was on the front row for the overtime restart but faded back on the white flag. The third generation driver finished the race in the 16th position and ultimately led seven laps during the event.

A win this weekend would not only be significant for Germain Racing, but it will clinch Dillon a spot in the playoff to race for a championship.


The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.


5 Drivers to Split RCR XFINITY Series Entry

You could dub it the all-star team line-up if you wanted, but it’s certainly full of talent one way or another, as Richard Childress Racing announced the five drivers that will split time behind the wheel of the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro SS in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this season.

“Our goal with the multi-driver Chevrolet Camaro SS is to win races and put ourselves in a position to be in the NASCAR Playoffs at the end if the season to compete for the owner’s championship,” said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of RCR.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competitors Austin and Ty Dillon will each run their fare of share of events, hoping to build on their winning history in the series. Older brother Austin won the series championship in 2013, and has scored eight wins and 99 top-10 finishes to date, while younger brother Ty has 86 top-10’s, highlighted by a victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2014.

ARCA Racing Series regular Shane Lee will make his series debut as part of his time in the seat this year. Running the full ARCA schedule for the first time last year, he placed third in the year-end standings.

Jeb Burton and Brendan Gaughan will round out the line-up. Burton has 19 top-10 XFINITY top-10 finishes on his resume, while Gaughan enters his seventh year in association with RCR. While he won’t run the full schedule this year, he is set to run Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 11th and Elkhart Lake’s Road America on August 25th, building upon the success he has had at both venues, including a victory at Road America.



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NASCAR Cup Series


After success in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Ty Dillon moved up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Germain Racing full-time last year, putting together a solid campaign.

Now partnered with a new crew chief for 2018 in Matt Borland, the third-generation driver took some time to talk about his thoughts for Popular Speed.

POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts going into the season?

TY DILLON: I’m very excited going into the season. We brought Matt Borland to be the crew chief, ,and are just changing some things up at Germain Racing. It’s nice for everyone to have a different leadership view, and I think it’s going really well this off-season. We’ve seen some growth, especially for me. I know I’m going to grow a lot. I grew a lot at the end of last year, at the end of my rookie year. Just excited to get another shot at a full season, and going back to a lot of the tracks a second time.

PS: With the success you were able to have, what are your goals and expectations?

TY: Just to improve, just to continue to get better each time we hit a race track, to be patient each week and week out, and just focus on making the racecars good. If you have a good racecar, it tends to pay off with a good finish. Just building on the process that I learned a lot about last year.

PS: What track are you most looking forward to getting to?

TY: I’m most looking forward to – I don’t know. We had quite a few good runs at a bunch of tracks. Probably Daytona, just because that means our season is starting. We get to go back to all the tracks and that sets the tone for the year, even if it’s a different style of racing. A good day at the Daytona 500 can set you up for the rest of the year.

PS: How would you characterize your rookie campaign?

TY: I felt last year was good. We learned a lot, and really grew as a driver and team. I think it was definitely a learning season for myself. I’m excited to employ what I learned on that season to this year.

PS: What’s the biggest thing that you learned last year?

TY: I think just patience – not just on the race track, but off throughout the practice sessions and the whole weekend, and just focusing on doing what I know how to do and that’s drive a racecar to make sure we get it handling it right for the race. I look forward to growing in that as well, and building off that this season.

PS: What are your reflections back on how the stage racing played out for year one?

TY: I think it was a success, and I really enjoyed it. I think stage racing adds a lot of depth to the race, and helps the fans stay engaged and entertained throughout the race and the year. Going forward, there’s going to be a bigger emphasis on making sure you get those stage points, which starts with qualifying good and running up front throughout the whole race – not just focusing on the finish.



The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement

NASCAR Cup Series

ASHLEY ASKS…… Matt Borland

After spending last season at Richard Childress Racing calling the shots for Paul Menard, Matt Borland makes the move over to Germain Racing to work with Ty Dillon in 2018.

Popular Speed’s Ashley McCubbin recently spoke to Borland about his thoughts on the upcoming year, and more.

POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts looking ahead to 2018?

MATT BORLAND: Well, with the rule changes coming up, it’s going to be interesting. Definitely some things that we’re going to have to do different than last year, but I think that will be a new challenge. I’m excited about getting to work with Ty (Dillon) some more over here at Germain Racing. There’s a good group of people here, and we’re looking forward to running better where we can and have a good season.

PS: So far, what has it been like transitioning over to Germain Racing from RCR?

MB: It’s been relatively smooth. Bob Germain has put together a good group here, and they’ve all been super friendly. With them being an alliance partner with RCR, all of the cars are the same to what RCR has and what we ran last year so getting used to the cars has been easy – which is nice. It’s just been learning new people, and figuring out who does what, and everybody’s names.

PS: What are your goals and expectations?

MB: We haven’t sat down and really discussed that yet, but I think I know from my standpoint which doesn’t change from year to year, and that’s to try to get better every week and not shoot ourselves in the foot. Don’t take ourselves out of races, and always making sure the car is capable of completing the races and every lap.

Russell LaBounty | NKP

PS: What track on the schedule is your favorite to go to?

MB: It changes from year to year. Loved going up to Loudon and Dover, but Charlotte is nice because it’s close to home; it makes for a nice weekend. It’s probably Dover, though, I would say.

PS: First year of stage racing – what is your reaction?

MB: It definitely changed things quite a bit. Probably the biggest change is the stage points. In years past, you absolutely could not drop out of races, where with stage points now, if you’re able to score points in the first two stages, you can actually score more points and not finish than somebody who finishes the race on the lead lap. So having the ability to score points and be in the top 10 during the stages is extremely important, and definitely a big challenge.

PS: With NASCAR limiting how many people you will have at the track in 2018, how will that change things for the teams?

MB: For us, on the 13, it doesn’t change things a lot. I think it will put us to just where we reach the limit. So for us, it won’t be a huge change. Now for some of the bigger teams, I think they’re going to shift a little bit how they do things. But all in all, the teams are pretty good at adapting to rule changes.

PS: How did you initially get involved in racing?

MB: I got involved from my first job at General Motors in the proving grounds. I kind of accidentally left the magazine system and a guy called me up, and told me he was racing that weekend. So I went out there and got into it from there.

PS: And then how did that turn into being a NASCAR crew chief?

MB: I don’t know that I necessarily wanted to do that, or even really that this job existed until I moved down to North Carolina and worked with Penske Racing as a simulation engineer. That was really the first time that I was made aware of what a crew chief did. I wouldn’t say it wasn’t any kind of lifelong desire, or something like that; I just liked racing and wanted to be involved with it.

The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season kicks off with the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18.



The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement


Tough Choices: Picking 5 Favorite Throwback Paint Schemes

If you’re not at Darlington Raceway this weekend — or at least watching on television  — you’re missing one of the very best weekends of the entire 36-race Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.

Sunday’s Bojangles’ 500 is NASCAR’s one and only throwback weekend, with most of the teams decorating their race cars with paint schemes from the 1980s and 90s.

As has been the case in each of the past two years that Darlington hosted the throwback weekend, the paint schemes are sensational, especially for old-school NASCAR fans.

Here are five of my favorites.


Brad Keselowski

The 2012 Cup champion pays stylistic homage to the black-and-gold Miller Genuine Draft colors Rusty Wallace carried with Team Penske. This is one of the most popular NASCAR paint schemes of all time and looks as good today as it did back in the day.

Kasey Kahne

The first Daytona 500 victory for Hendrick Motorsports came in 1986, when Geoff Bodine wheeled the Levi Garrett-sponsored No. 5 Chevrolet Monte Carlo to victory. The yellow and white colors made it stand out. And given the fact that the No. 5 will go away after this year, there’s urgency here.

Danica Patrick

Stewart-Haas Racing is paying tribute to the ailing Robert Yates, who continues to battle liver cancer as he awaits his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Patrick’s scheme is the one Dale Jarrett drove in 1999, when he gave Robert Yates Racing its one and only Cup championship.

Ty Dillon

In NASCAR Premier Series history, the No. 13 has only won one points race in 529 attempts: It happened at Daytona in 1963, when Johnny Rutherford drove a Smokey Yunick owned and prepared Chevrolet to victory in one of the 100-mile Daytona 500 qualifying races. They counted for points back then.

Ryan Blaney

This is a no-brainer: Blaney is driving the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford with the paint scheme Kyle Petty drove for the same team in 1987. You can tell the team and Petty are having fun with this one.

All article photos courtesy of Nigel Kinrade Photography © 2017 

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.


Dillon, Koch Run Into Early Trouble at Atlanta

It didn’t take long for the action to start on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

On Lap 2 of the Rinnai 250, Ty Dillon’s No. 3 wiggled on entry into Turn 1, spun, and slid onto the apron.

It looked like he had the car saved without damage but Blake Koch, who was trying to avoid the sideways No. 3, dove to the apron hit the left side of the Richard Childress Racing car head on.

Dillon was able to continue and finished the race on the lead lap in 17th, but Koch’s car sustained too much damage and finished dead-last 40th.

“It sucks to be out at the beginning of the race,” Koch told Fox Sports. “On entry there, I saw the 3 start to gather it up and thought maybe he’d stay up there, and I could sneak down on the bottom, and I was on the apron, and he started to come down — and I couldn’t sneak by and miss him.”

It marks the second consecutive rough week for Koch as he sustained heavy damage in one of the big wrecks at Daytona, requiring the team to make substantial repairs en route to a 15th-place result.

Now with a 40th-place finish at Atlanta, he drops from eighth to 19th in the series standings.

You can see a replay of the incident here.



The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or staff. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

NASCAR Cup Series

A Life of Racing Earned Childress Hall of Fame Induction

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Richard Childress’ life has revolved around racing from an early age. Following a long and illustrious career, he reached the pinnacle of the sport on Friday night when he was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

This accomplishment comes following his humble beginnings watching racing at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, establishing himself as a driver in the 1970s, and then becoming one of the most successful team owners in NASCAR history.

Childress has just about accomplished it all throughout his historic career, but he will never forget how his love for racing developed at a young age.

“I went over there and my stepdad carried myself and my brother over there when we was kids, probably six, seven, eight years old, probably seven, eight years old, and we watched a race,” Childress said. “So we asked him if we could go back, and he said, well, I can’t take you over there. I don’t know if he was working or what. I said, can we walk.”

The dedication Childress displayed to get to the race track and begin planting his roots in motorsports involved a four to five-mile walk, but it sparked the passion that fueled his life and career.

“I fell in love with racing,” Childress said. “You couldn’t sell nothing when the race was going on so I’d sit down and watch it and I’d watch my heroes, Billy Myers and Bobby Myers and Curtis Turner, Len Wood. These were my heroes, not Johnny Unitas and all the big football players and people of that era. I knew then that that’s what I wanted to be was a race driver some day.”

When Childress began his driving career, his determination to succeed continued to shine. His wife Judy reflected on a time when Childress did everything in his power to race.

“And then Richard came in, and he said, we’ve got to go home, a windshield,” Judy Childress said. “I can’t get in because my windshield was broke. We were out hunting for a windshield for his car so he could drive the next day.”

When Childress transitioned to his current role as a team owner in the 1980s, he continued to elevate his career, especially with Dale Earnhardt behind the wheel.

The two found unparalleled success, including scoring six of Earnhardt’s seven championships, and 67 victories.

While their success on the track will always be remembered in the record books, the two also formed an unbreakable bond.

“We were in a hunting club in South Carolina, and we’d get in the bunk beds at night,” Childress said. “He’d always make me get on the top, and we’d be there, and he would — we’d lay in there with the lights out and talk about racing and what we wanted to accomplish.”

Now as Childress joins Earnhardt in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, he is looking forward to the future with his grandsons Austin and Ty Dillon behind the wheel.

“The greatest thing is he always encourages us,” Austin Dillon said. “Our family has always gave us what we needed to do our job, and then also the encouragement of always telling us that we could accomplish what we wanted to do.”

The oldest Dillon brother has captured two championships for his grandfather but is now on the hunt to bring home a third in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

“The one I’m missing is the third one, and I’m going to do whatever I can to bring him that third championship,” Dillon said. “I hope he stays on my butt. That’s what I need. I need his leadership and his drive to take us to that next level.”

Ty Dillon believes Childress’ roles as team owner and grandfather have elevated his career and will benefit him in the future.

“Also he motivates us by telling us to get up on the wheel and puts the owner cap on and says you boys got to go make it happen,” Dillon said. “You got to see a little bit of the ways that he motivates us by being a great grandfather and a great owner.”

Childress’ storied career has included numerous memorable moments with more likely ahead – all with the possibility of being captured in a book that tells the story of how Childress went from selling popcorn and peanuts at Bowman Gray to being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

“There was a lot of things that some day I may write a book and tell really — you’d be surprised how really all of these things, the people that was tangled in that web.”



The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.


NASCAR XFINITY Series 2016 Recap/2017 Outlook — Ty Dillon

Ty Dillon completed his third full season in the XFINITY Series in 2016 with Richard Childress Racing. Next year, he’ll be racing full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Germain Racing.

Car No.: 3

Crew Chief: Nick Harrison

Team: Richard Childress Racing

Wins: 0

Top-Fives: 9

Top-10s: 17

Points Finish: 5th

2016 Quick Summary: Dillon’s only pole of the year came in the season opener at Daytona, but he only led two laps and finished 13th. He led a career-high 212 laps throughout the season, but 2016 was a bit of a step backward for the 24-year-old, despite driving in 12 races on the Cup side. He had fewer top 10s than he did the previous two years (24 total in 2014, 25 in 2015,) three less top fives than last season, and failed to win a race for a second consecutive year. Dillon made the Chase but was eliminated after the opening Round of 12.

2016 Highlight(s): Dillon’s best performance of the season came at Iowa Speedway in late July, where he led 83 laps and finished second. It was one of five runner-up finishes — the others coming in the spring races at Iowa and Richmond International Raceway, the fall race at Dover International Speedway, and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

2016 Lowlight(s): An early exit from the Chase was as shocking as it was emotional for Dillon. He missed advancement to the Round of 8 by one point behind Roush Fenway Racing’s Darrell Wallace Jr. after the Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Dillon said his team had Championship 4 potential but was unable to rebound in the playoffs after a crash at Kentucky Speedway two weeks earlier.

“It’s heartbreaking,” an upset Dillon said after the Charlotte race. “… I’ve wanted this championship so bad every year I’ve ran the XFINITY Series. Just, it hurts.”

2017 Outlook: Dillon will drive the No. 13 for the RCR-affiliated Germain organization. He’s replacing Casey Mears — who has raced for the single-car team since mid-2010 — and will be competing for the Cup Series’ Rookie of the Year honors.

Mears posted one top five and five top 10s in 180 starts with Germain. The team’s ranking in the series marks a good spot for Dillon to continue to get his feet wet in NASCAR’s top-tier division. If he earns top-15 finishes throughout the year, he’ll be stepping in the right direction.



The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or staff. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.


RCR to Enter Five Full-Time Entries in XFINITY

The NASCAR XFINITY Series will look to be full of stiff competition in 2017, based on the announcements thus far from Joe Gibbs Racing, JR Motorsports and now Richard Childress Racing. RCR announced this week they will field five full-time entries in NASCAR second-tier division.

As previously announced, Daniel Hemric will move over to RCR after racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this past season for Brad Keselowski Racing. Hemric finished his second season of Camping World Truck Series sixth in points, posting 11 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.

“This is such a great opportunity for me,” Hemric said in September. “There aren’t words that can describe what racing for RCR means to me, especially considering everything they have done as an organization for our sport. I’m excited to now officially be a small part of the company and am looking forward to working with everyone in Welcome, North Carolina. We will hit the ground running in February at Daytona. With all the talent and experience RCR has in the XFINITY Series, I’m confident we can compete for wins and contend for the championship.”

RCR announced Hemric will pilot the No. 21 entry, with two-time NASCAR Champion Crew Chief Danny Stockman calling the shots. Stockman won the 2011 Camping World Truck Series Championship with Austin Dillon, followed an XFINITY title two years later with Dillon as well.

Hemric will be joined by Brandon Jones and Brendan Gaughan on a full-time basis, as both drivers return to RCR in 2017 in their same respective rides. Gaughan will be partnered with Shane Wilson for their 12th season together, while Nick Harrison will be partnered with Jones. Harrison spent last season with Ty Dillon, en route to finishing fifth in the series standings.

This past season, Gaughan finished 12th in the final series standings, with four top-fives and 16 top-10s. Meanwhile, Jones had a solid rookie campaign with 11 top-10s in the first 26 races, including a sixth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, to qualify for the inaugural XFINITY Chase. Prior to this year, he ran five XFINITY races with a pair of top-10 finishes, to go along with 30 Camping World Truck Series starts.

The No. 2 team will remain as the multi-driver all-star team, with Austin Dillon and Paul Menard holding down the role of primary drivers. The team will see no changes in leadership, either, with Justin Alexander returning as crew chief. Last year, the team scored a pair of victories with Dillon winning at Bristol Motor Speedway and Sam Hornish Jr. at Road America.

While Ty Dillon will move up to the Sprint Cup Series full-time with Germain Racing, he will also run some races behind the wheel of his familiar No. 3 entry in the XFINITY Series. Dillon has finished in the top-five in points the last three years, with a single victory to his name. The No. 3 team will have a new face on the pit box, with rookie Matt Swiderski calling the shots after spending 10 years in the RCR engineering department.

RCR added that additional drivers for RCR’s No. 2 and No. 3 teams will be named at a later date.


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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.