TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
OCTOBER 12, 2018
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed if him moving to the No. 31 Camaro ZL1 at Richard Childress Racing was ever an option, the changes at Germain Racing, his outlook towards 2019, and many other topics.
YOU HAVE HAD A LITTLE SUCCESS HERE AT TALLADEGA. TALK ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO COME BACK HERE TO TALLADEGA AND WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR:
“I always feel comfortable racing here at Talladega. I think it started with the ARCA race you were talking about, I was able to win it in I guess ‘Talladega’ fashion using up that whole front stretch
to pass Frank Kimmel back to the line and always gave me confidence coming back to be able to be good here. It’s a little bit different when you come in the Cup Series. It’s a different game, different animal, but over the years I’ve learned and gotten stronger and stronger in this style of drafting and it’s a very aggressive, but smart. You’ve got to have a lot of talent to get the job done here. It’s not like, I feel like a Truck or Xfinity race it’s a lot of just patience and riding and letting things fall to
you. In the Cup race you can actually kind of make things happen with these cars. I look forward to Sunday. I feel like we are going to have a great chance. The GEICO car always seems to run good here. That is a good thing to have on your back. We are excited for the opportunity. We came close here. I have finished in the top 10 a couple of times already here, so we know how to be around at the end and hopefully this is our time.”
WAS GOING TO THE NO. 31 CAR EVEN AN OPTION YOU WOULD HAVE EVEN CONSIDERED?
“No. I think you guys were there earlier this year when we announced an extension with Germain Racing and GEICO. Our commitment has been altogether working forward through that extension. It was never talked about me being in the No. 31 or another car at RCR. We are focused on the future with Germain Racing and I wouldn’t have signed that extension if we had second thoughts.
“Yeah, we haven’t had a great year and we all know that at our race team, but we have a great sponsor in GEICO who has got our back through the future. We are building and we are going to keep working and we feel that we have greatness coming in our future together. I think the last time I had thought anything about driving for my grandfather was probably a couple of days before I even signed our first contract at Germain Racing. Other than that, it has been focusing on the No. 13 car with GEICO and doing the best we can there.”
DO YOU SEE RCR AS PART OF YOUR FUTURE?
“Maybe, I don’t know what my grandfather has got for plans. RCR has been my whole life and still is. I still go to the shop I was there a couple of times this week, but Germain Racing is my career right now and I’m putting everything into that. Who knows what the future will hold or what it will bring, but I know what the next two years have in store for me and that is Germain Racing and GEICO. That is all I can focus on right now and put 110 percent into that and I’m very excited for that. RCR has been my whole life it will continue to be my whole life, but in what capacity? We will find out.”
GERMAIN RACING MADE WHOLESALE CHANGES AFTER LAST SEASON, BUT YOU GUYS HAVE NOT GOTTEN THE RESULTS YOU HAVE HOPED FOR. WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP? WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK YOU NEED TO DO IN ORDER
TO COMPETE IN THE TOP 20 ON A REGULAR BASIS?
“We have to keep adapting. We made changes and we believe in those changes and stand by it. We all believe in Matt (Borland, crew chief). I think the biggest change was just Matt Borland coming in and Bootie (Barker) moving on. That was really the only change that we made and the biggest change of all has been changing our car from the SS to the Camaro. You take a single car team without the same overall budget as some of these other Chevy teams and our development process can’t possibly be quick enough compared to those guys. We have been a little behind in that and we are working really hard to get caught up and we know as the years come, as that box of learning a new car gets smaller and smaller we will be more and more competitive. So, right now we are just
focusing on executing races and developing the car as fast as we can as a team and controlling the situation that we can. I think we are doing a decent job of that of improving over the season. Last week was a disappointment because the four or five previous weeks of that we were really picking up some momentum and edging into competing inside the top 20 every week. We were running 15th at the Roval before the final caution came out and we got caught up in that like everybody else, but we were running there competitively. So, there is progression in our team and we feel like this (Talladega) is a track we can continue to do that and lead some momentum to the end of the year.”
DOES THE NEWS THAT KASEY KAHNE IS HAVING TO RETIRE BECAUSE OF A DEHYDRATION ISSUE CONCERN YOU AT ALL? ARE YOU CURIOUS ABOUT THAT BECAUSE NOBODY CAN SEEM TO PINPOINT THE CAUSE?
“Yeah, it’s a very scary thing. I have been driving less than Kasey (Kahne) has a lot shorter career so far and I’ve noticed things as far as Xfinity races and certain times for whatever reasons sometimes the Xfinity cars even get hotter than Cup cars. But as you race more and more the heat seems to… you need to prepare your body more and more the older you get, the more races you run it does seem to compound. Talking to Kasey it sounded like it was a compounding
thing over his career that he just kept feeling worse and worse, not that the situation got worse and worse, but just his body couldn’t recover as fast. It’s worrisome that they haven’t found anything. Obviously, Kasey’s health means a lot to everybody and hopefully, when I was talking to him, he is hoping that he can figure something out to help all of us. I know all of the drivers are thinking about that. We all, at this level, take hydration and our bodies very serious and how we handle that. I think that is something that is underestimated in our sport. You see thermometers on the cars that are over 150 degrees and the way that we are functioning inside of our cars it’s pretty incredible the athletes that we are that we definitely deserve more attention that what we get for the extreme conditions that we deal with over three and a half hours. That is something that we have to continue to take seriously and hopefully we can get some help in figuring out how to maintain our bodies. You don’t really hear a deteriorating hydration situation in other sports. Hopefully, we can maybe help make some advancements going forward for all sports.”
DID YOU EVER USE THE DRIVER ADJUSTABLE TRACKBAR? WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS THAT WILL BE GOING AWAY FOR 2019?
“I don’t really care. I’m a guy that likes to move my line around to adapt to the track. I feel like that will help dirt drivers a little bit because we are born to search for grip, but when you are in
the Cup Series everybody is pretty much adapted to that. But, I use it a lot, sometimes I’ve raised it four or five inches over a 30 or 40 lap run to try and get balance in our car. Typically, that means your car isn’t good, but we always talk about it in our meetings ‘yeah, over the run I was moving my trackbar two to three inches’. Two to three inches is a ton in these things. To have that adjustment it makes it easier to drive over a long run, but I think good drivers can adapt to the line without it and I think that will be nice and exciting.”
WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE OVER THIS LAST YEAR BEING A DAD?
“It has been amazing. It has been a totally different experience that I ever thought I would imagine. I always wanted to be a father and I think the coolest thing is watching my wife be a mother. That has changed me as a man over time and coming up on her first year is quite awesome.”
WHAT DO YOU DO PERSONALLY TO TRY AND GET THROUGH A SEASON THAT TURNS OUT NOT TO BE PROBABLY ONE THAT YOU ANTICIPATED? WHAT GETS YOU THROUGH TRYING TO WORK TO GET THINGS BETTER?
“It’s been definitely a hard season. Where it was easy, still is easy to let doubt creep into your mind and I guess always be down. This sport can really keep you down because there is only one winner
every week. Everything around it can be tough. I think the biggest thing is trying to just keep faith in what I believe in and keep my priorities right and that is something that I’ve learned a lot about the last couple of weeks in my life. I think going forward getting through this season, which, this year and season has been one of the toughest in my life, I feel that I’m going to be blessed in many ways going forward just by the experience of what has gone on in my career so far. I feel good about where we are going at Germain Racing. The way these hard times have made us progress as a team and grow. When we get those right combinations clicking we are really going to be a strong team.”
THOUGHTS ON THE TRANSFORMATION PROJECT GOING ON IN THE TALLADEGA INFIELD:
“It looks really cool. I think it’s going to be awesome. I’m so glad Talladega is continuing to improve their track for their fans. The fans deserve that and that is awesome. I still want to look at it (the plans) some more, but some of the other track improvements this year, you look at it and you just kind of glaze over the picture, but you don’t think about functionality as a driver sometimes. I was just looking at it and seeing how the garage flow would work and took a little bit longer look. I think it’s going to be an awesome project.”
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