Talladega to host Ty Dillon’s 100th Cup start

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The auto racing gods sometimes have a sense of humor.

Germain Racing’s Ty Dillon is set to make his 100th Cup start this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

Dillon, who drives the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, will reach that career milestone in the GEICO 500.

But is that enough good karma for Dillon to continue to build on a solid start for the one-car team?

Dillon and Germain Racing enter this weekend looking to improve upon their performance in the Daytona 500.

Though it was with a different rules package and 21 cars failed to finish the race, Dillon finished sixth for his only top 10 of the year. That matches his total from 2018.

Since then, the No. 13 Chevy has three top 15s including a best finish of 13th at Martinsville. Dillon’s third top 15 last year didn’t come until the July Daytona race.

Dillon was also able to score his first career stage win three weeks ago at Bristol when he stayed out of the pits late in Stage 1.

“We always want to get the year kicked off right, and leaving Daytona earlier this season with a sixth-place finish gave us a lot of confidence as we kicked off for the season,” Dillon said in a press release. “It always makes you feel more comfortable heading to the next superspeedway race. That momentum has really carried us through the first segment of this year as we’ve been able to build onto what was already a positive start to 2019.”

In his first 99 Cup races, Dillon has seven Daytona starts and four at Talladega. His sixth in February was his second consecutive in Daytona. His best Talladega result is 11th in 2017.

Dillon said “surviving” the superspeedway races gives teams like his “the opportunity to take control of your season.”

“Variables like superspeedways can easily become a bad points day and put you in a hole,” Dillon said. “So, we really focus on a strategy that will get us to the end of the race to get a solid finish. We’ve been in contention to win a couple of these races by doing that.”

While Talladega will be his 100th start, it won’t be his 100th with Germain Racing.

Dillon’s first 99 races have been divided among Germain, Richard Childress Racing, Leavine Family Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Tommy Baldwin Racing.

His first start for Germain came in 2017 Daytona 500 and marked the start of his first full-time season in Cup.

“Three years into working with the team at Germain Racing, I feel like I’m still growing and developing as a person and as a driver,” Dillon said. “Bob Germain and GEICO have dedicated years of support to this sport, and we’re seeing the benefits of that each and every week.”

Dillon added: “I want to thank every person that’s been a part of my first 100 starts in the Cup Series. I appreciate of the opportunities that they have given me. Hopefully 100 is our first win.”