Ryan Preece did fire off well earlier on having followed his team-mate, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., inside the Top 20 zone.
But when Stenhouse crashed on Lap 30, Preece lost some ground and support towards the second half of the opening stage in P25.
He had to create an entirely different strategy to make up lost time over in Stage 2; the yellows began to repay his faith thanks to the Joey Gase collecting William Byron into the wall.
It helped Preece move up to P19 towards the halfway mark before staying quiet for the rest of the night in P10.
Overall, well done to Preece and his No.37 JTG Daugherty Racing crew on a stellar performance in Bristol, TN, his 1st Top 10 of 2020 and 4th overall merit since Michigan just over a year ago.
He’s also beginning to respond to Stenhouse’s competition now having made three Top 30s over the last few weeks.
That way, Preece is doing everything he can to stay consistent within the Top 20.
Don’t write Preece off just yet as he’s doing his best to retain his seat there for 2021.
He still has flashes of brilliance that made a name for himself in the Xfinity Series when Joe Gibbs Racing gave him a couple of opportunities in proper equipment in 2017-18 coming from the limited-budget JD Motorsports.
He may have stayed in the same spot in P26 throughout the opening stage.
Fortunately, McDowell progressed very well when he thanked the yellows and other driver’s mistakes/technical failures.
It helped McDowell get the adjustments right, having reported some unbalanced areas with his No.34 Ford race car beforehand.
And it rewarded McDowell in moving up a few spots at P23 by the halfway stage.
Then thanks to a productive and quiet final Stage 3, he’s able to make some decent time to move up more spots via the great long-run speed, which helped him finish P10.
Now McDowell made 2 Top 10 & 4 Top 20 finishes over the past 5-6 weeks.
He’s happy with the long-run speed that allowed McDowell to use his attacking and defensive instincts to stay ahead and nail down a decent finish, which is impressive.
Next up, McDowell’s hoping for Christopher Bell and Chris Buescher to finish poorly than him to leapfrog them in the drivers’ standings.
McDowell brings lots of experience and skills valuable at Front Row Motorsports to regularly challenge the Top 20-25 zone as it’s something he wants to build on within the next few Sundays.
He also fired off slow and steady in Stage 1, having gained a spot from 28th.
The first half of Stage 2 saw Ty Dillon lift another 1-2 spots thanks to his decent short-run speed while lacking some feel in the long-run.
But the William Byron caution just after the midway mark promoted him to P23 by the halfway stage that allowed some time to change these adjustments correctly.
And the advantage Ty Dillon & the No.13 Germain crew used during these periods eventually got their long-run speeds on par as the short-runs.
It helped him break inside the Top 20 zone and stay there for the rest of the race defensively at P17.
Overall, a great weekend to cap off in another Top 25 run since the Daytona regular-season finale in P22 three weeks ago & the first Top 20 since Dover Race 1, where he came home P18.
What’s next for Ty Dillon is keep trying to submit close if not better than Top 20 results starting next Sunday.
That way, he has the best chance to leapfrog John Hunter Nemechek (trails by -4) on 27th at the drivers’ standings.
If so, it would be a great plan to finish 2020 & gift Germain Racing with the targets they’re on a high note.