Lessons double-duty drivers learned at PIR Saturday
By Dominic Aragon
March 18, 2017
AVONDALE, Ariz.—Six of the 40 drivers in the DC Solar 200 XFINITY Series race at Phoenix Raceway Saturday will also compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday.
Five of the six drivers spoke with The Racing Experts about what they learned running the XFINITY Series race that can be applied to the race Sunday.
Ryan Blaney was the highest finishing double-duty driver, leading 15 laps and finishing second.
“Just seeing where the track goes,” Blaney said. “That was pretty important to find out, what we had to do on long runs to make our car competitive, and short runs.”
Blaney starts second Sunday.
Ty Dillon finished tenth after starting 13th. Dillon talked about multiple things he learned post-race.
“Just the way to run out on the track as the grove gets widened out and rubber gets laid down, the advantage of two to four tires, and tire fall off, so learned a little bit today,” he said.
The younger Dillon brother will start 15th.
Timmy Hill finished as the last car on the lead lap Saturday in 26th.
“The grove actually moved up here at Phoenix,” Hill said. “Typically, it’s just a bottom-feeder kind of track… I actually made quite a few passes on the high side today, which is very interesting.
“I think the Cup cars, having more speed, I think those guys will utilize the top side a little bit more. I’m not saying it’ll be the quickest way, but you’ll see guys searching around and having different options out there.”
Hill will start 39th Sunday.
Austin Dillon, who led 31 laps, was ultimately parked for an on-track incident with Cole Custer with ten laps to go. He finished 33rd.
“Track position’s pretty big,” Dillon said.
The elder Dillon brother will start Sunday 17th.
Daniel Suarez, who finished 39th after a cut right-rear tire and hit the Turn 1 wall, said one word in reference to what he had learned.
“Nothing,” he said.
Suarez was the lowest finishing double-duty driver. He will start the Camping World 500 27th.
Erik Jones led 65 laps and finished third. He was unavailable for comment. IMAGES:
Daniel Courson/The Racing Experts SOURCES: Racing-Reference.info