In January 2018, Ty Dillon spoke during NASCAR’s Media Day in Charlotte on how they wanted to start the upcoming season off stronger. See, in 2017, Dillon finished 24th as a rookie in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings. He failed to score a single top 10 result that year with a best finish of 11th (twice) in 36 starts.
Instead, 2018 was actually worse. Despite earning his first top 10 finish (6th in July’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona), he finished three spots farther back in the final standings – 27th.
In 2017, he had 19 finishes inside of the top 20. In 2018, Dillon only had seven.
Heading into 2019, his expectations were tempered. He didn’t want to disappoint himself if things started off badly. Well, with one race under his belt in 2019, things are going much better.
Dillon, brought his No. 13 Chevrolet home with sixth place finish in the season opening Daytona 500. That ties his best career finish which also occurred at Daytona. Surviving the chaos that broke out in the final 10 laps, Dillon maneuvered through the carnage to earn his second top-10 finish at the historic Daytona International Speedway. Riding the wave of momentum, Dillon and the team will head to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend to keep building on their strong start to the 2019 season.
“A successful Daytona 500 can set the tone for the rest of the year,” said Dillon ahead of this weekend’s race in Atlanta. “Our GEICO Racing team had a great Daytona race with a top-10 finish. It definitely gets the team pumped up and excited to start the new season. Atlanta is obviously very different from Daytona, so there’s nothing that we can take from one track to the other.
“But, positive momentum is so important, and we have that. We know that mile-and-a-half tracks are where we struggled last year, and this team has been working hard for months to improve our intermediate track program. I’m looking forward to unloading in Atlanta and watching their hard work pay off.”
This will be Dillon’s fifth start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta. In his previous four races, he earned his best finish of 15th place in 2017 with the GEICO Racing team. He has an average start of 25.2 and an average finish of 20.8. Dillon has five previous starts at the intermediate track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. With an average start of 13.4 and an average finish of 9.4, Dillon has logged two top-five and three top-10 finishes. His best finish of third place came in 2015. In his two NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts, Dillon has an average start of 7.5 and an average finish of 1.5. He won the 2012 event after starting on the pole and leading 40 laps. He earned a second-place finish in the 2015 race.