CHARLOTTE, NC – Ty Dillon, grandson of Richard Childress, enters his second season in Monster Energy Cup ready to go. Dillon was frustrated with the way 2017 went since he had never struggled in a rookie season in the past. He has great confidence going into 2018 in his second season with Germain Racing and is looking forward to running Bristol, his favorite track. He took questions from the media gathered at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour.
Dillon admitted he was excited about the coming season and his new daughter, recently born.
“Having my little girl in the off-season helped put some things in perspective in my life and I have been trying to change my approach on some things. I let the sport get me a little down, which sounds ridiculous in your rookie season because I never really struggled in any of my previous rookie’s seasons, whether it was trucks, XFINITY. I won races in my rookie season in both those series and was battling for championships all the way down to the end. Last year that wasn’t really the case. We had a couple of close calls to win a race. I feel relieved that at the end of my rookie season I really learned some things that are going to help me this year. Also, kind of changed my outlook. Everything is an opportunity.”
Dillon finished 13th in the Spring race at Bristol but crashed in the night race and finished 36th. Even so, Dillon likes Bristol.
“Bristol has been a good track for me. In all my careers, I probably have one of the best average finishes at that racetrack,” Dillon said. “I look forward going back. The second race in the Cup series wasn’t really strong for us but look forward to capitalizing on it as it is one of my favorite tracks to go to.”
One would have expected that Dillon would join his brother at RCR, but he went to Germain instead because his grandfather already had Ryan Newman and Paul Menard in addition to his brother already, Dillon likes the opportunity.
“I think the fact that I have my own identity at Germain Racing and the more we grow as a team, the more I grow as a driver, the more I grow as a person we feel comfortable,” Dillon said.
If Richard Childres calls, will you drive there?
“I think there was something inside of me that wanted to break out of that a little bit. As much as I love having a brother in the sport and my family in the sport and my grandfather is an owner and how much I would love to win races and championships for him, I think I needed to break out of that grandson-brother shadow that I had.” Dillon said. “Not that it was a negative shadow. I just want people to see me for me. Austin and I can do some great things together, and we do on and off the racetrack, but for me to grow as a person off the racetrack is just as important. So, Bo taking the opportunity on me and Geico to bring me in, I can’t wait to make the most of this opportunity and grow with both of them.
“I want to be my own self, but I think there are a lot of things my brother and I can do that are great and I still want to work with my grandfather. But I want people to know me for me and know my life and know who I am. At the young parts of my career and the beginning stages, we needed to be grouped together to get the full impact and now that I feel like I’m at this top level I can start branching off and let people know me. I want to race for Germain Racing and Geico my whole career and win races and championships and build my own brand like Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.”