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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