Ty Dillon Energized for Sparks Energy 300 After Bootcamp at Railroad Park

There is no race track in NASCAR where drivers experience more of a mental workout than Talladega Superspeedway with its exciting three- and four-wide pack racing, 10-and 12 rows deep at 200 mph. Wednesday in nearby Birmingham, NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Ty Dillon, who will be a driver to beat in the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 30, got to experience a different kind of workout that was challenging to say the least.

Dillon, as part of NASCAR’s Advance program to promote the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) and the Sparks Energy 300, was in the “Magic City” to celebrate Talladega Superspeedway’s contribution to beautiful Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham, a jewel of a venue that attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year. The track’s partnership with the Railroad Park Foundation will enhance the Park’s “Family Exercise” area, focused on health and fitness, with new equipment and a landscaping spruce-up with new gravel and mulch.

Dillon, along with Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch and Birmingham City Council President Pro Tempore Jay Roberson, traded in their suits (for Dillon, his driving suit) Wednesday for workout gear, showcasing their physical fitness prowess during drills in the family exercise area under the guidance of physical fitness bootcamp instructor, Varian May.

“Those guys (Lynch & Roberson) were issuing challenges to me so we had some fun with some training, and yes, I had to put them in their place,” joked Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, headed by his legendary grandfather. “We did a host of drills (sit ups, squats, pushups, mountain climbers, etc.) and it felt great. Railroad Park has a lot to offer the citizens of Birmingham and the surrounding areas where it concerns physical fitness, and I am glad that Talladega Superspeedway is supporting it. It’s all here at Railroad Park. It’s the place to get yourself in shape.”

“Training is what we as drivers, as well as the entire race team, do on a daily basis to be prepared so we can be our very best. All of our team has a regimen that they go by to be primed and ready to go both physically as well as mentally. We want everyone to be as sharp as a tack when we come back to Talladega in a few weeks. For my pit crew, they are fighting for every second in the pits at Talladega because it can mean the difference from running in the top five or lagging in mid pack or further back. For me, the mental aspect of Talladega is mind-boggling, and it is the biggest test inside the cockpit with drivers surrounding you at nearly 200 mph, and knowing you better not make a mistake. It’s really incredible.”

Dillon made no mistakes in the 2011 General Tire 200 ARCA Racing Series race and took the trip to the track’s Gatorade Victory Lane, but that was then and this is now. Dillon, brother of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) driver Austin Dillon, knows that iconic Talladega Superspeedway, the biggest and baddest race track on the planet, has been a magical place for Richard Childress Racing, winning 12 NSCS events (tied with Hendrick Motorsports as the track’s all-time win leader), nine of which came with the late, great Dale Earnhardt behind the wheel.

“We are so energized to get back to Talladega for the Sparks Energy 300 and give RCR another win there,” said Dillon, who ranks sixth in the NXS title standings but has yet to win this year. “I know the history that my grandfather and that track have. It’s a special place to our family. It is such a cool place. You are always looking for the biggest thrill, and in motorsports, that is Talladega Superspeedway.”

“It’s a moving parking lot….a hornets nest…..a mental game to try and make your next move surrounded by others four- and five-wide in front of you and back of you. It’s an incredible place for us drivers to compete and one heck-of-a show for the fans. We need a spark for the rest of the year and there is no better place for that to happen than at Talladega. We finished eighth a year ago but we have much higher aspirations this year, and I am physically and mentally ready for it.”

The Sparks Energy 300 is set to be a high voltage battle between the best drivers of the NASCAR XFINITY Series against some of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars that could provide an all-but-guaranteed spot in the Series’ season-ending Championship Chase. The NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) has been a staple of the 2.66-mile venue since 1992.

For tickets to see if Dillon can notch is first victory in the Sparks Energy 300, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA or visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.  Joey Logano is the defending champion of the Sparks Energy 300.

Talladega Superspeedway is gearing up for a full weekend that kicks off on Friday, April 29. Friday’s slate includes practice sessions for the GEICO 500 NSCS race, the Sparks Energy 300, as well as practice, qualifying and the start of the General Tire 200 for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards (5 pm CDT). Saturday’s slate includes qualifying for the GEICO 500 and the Sparks Energy 300, which will get the green flag later in the day at 2 pm CDT. That evening the traditional Infield Concert will be headlined by Big & Rich featuring Cowboy Troy. Admission is free with a GEICO 500 ticket. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., will try to make it two consecutive wins in the GEICO 500 on Sunday, May 1.

Ticket upgrades are also available at TSS by clicking the ticket section on the web and going to “Upgrades.” Ticket upgrades include The Sunday VIP Experience with Glenn Jarrett, the Unrestricted VIP Package, Pre-Race Pit PassesPremium Box Seating, Fan Suites, the Back Forty Beer Co. Paddock Club and the new Party Patio.