Dylan Murry ready for ultimate NASCAR K&N Series, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge test

Dylan Murry will take on the NASCAR K&N Series and the Michelin Pilot Challenge in back-to-back days and and on tracks nearly 700 miles apart.

Dylan Murry is definitely going to get his racing fix this weekend and at tracks 700 miles apart, no less. 

The talented young driver will be racing in Saturday’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge event at Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, one day after racing at Watkins Glen International in New York in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.

While the 18-year-old native of Cumming, Georgia, has experience in both series – including his first Pilot Challenge win last month at Watkins Glen in June – he’s never doubled up with them on the same weekend. Murry has driven in two series at the same track in a weekend – including winning the IMSA Prototype Challenge race and finishing second in the Pilot Challenge contest at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in May – but will be the first time testing his skills and stamina on two very different permanent road courses.

Dylan Murry, center, recorded his first Michelin Pilot Challenge win last month at Watkins Glen.

”I’ve driven the Mercedes in the Michelin Pilot and the Prototype Challenge in the same weekend before, but going to two different tracks, back and forth, it’s going to be really mentally and physically draining,” Murry said. “I’ve just got to make sure I get some sleep, keep eating healthy and drink lots of water.

“It’s going to be a mentally draining weekend, but all worth it, for sure.”

Murry, the son of longtime sports car driver David Murry, is in his second season competing in Pilot Challenge. Driving the No. 35 Mercedes-AMG in the Grand Sport (GS) class for Team Riley Motorsports, he teamed with Jeroen Bleekemolen and James Cox to win the Watkins Glen race on June 29. The elder Murry said that victory helped lead to the deal with Jefferson Pitts Racing to drive in the K&N East race at the iconic circuit in upstate New York.

“With him winning the IMSA race there, it sure helped fuel that fire quite a bit,” David Murry said. Dylan Murry drove in a pair of K&N East races in 2017, including an eighth-place finish at Watkins Glen.

The younger Murry’s schedule will see him get the bulk of seat time in the Mercedes at Road America during a promoter test day on Thursday before heading to Milwaukee to board a prop plane bound for Watkins Glen that evening. Including a refueling stop, he said he doesn’t expect to arrive until 2 a.m. Friday.

The K&N event is a one-day show, so Murry will practice, qualify and race on Friday before making the return flight to Milwaukee that evening. Back at Road America on Saturday, Murry will get limited seat time in the morning practice before Cox qualifies the car. The Road America 120, a two-hour race, is scheduled to begin at 5:05 p.m. ET Saturday.

“I’m hoping to get the most publicity out of this as possible and hopefully it’ll benefit my career in both IMSA and NASCAR,” Dylan Murry said, adding he’s thankful to Riley Motorsports for allowing him to split his time over the weekend and to Jefferson Pitts Racing for the opportunity. 

“They want to help out a young, upcoming driver, so they’re trying to help me out,” he said. “Hopefully, it will go well.”

Dylan said he relies on advice from his father, a five-time class winner in IMSA races who now spends most of his time instructing aspiring drivers.

“He’s really been a great mentor and a great coach to listen to,” Dylan said. “It’s been beneficial to learn from him. All the on-track and off-track stuff that he teaches me is invaluable.”

David Murry said he introduced his son to karting at age 5 and Dylan’s career has taken off from there. The father said he offers advice from his own experiences “to cut the learning curve down” and that “to be able to share that with your son is great.”

Dylan’s recent victories have helped build his racing resume and attracted interest in opportunities like the one at hand.

“He’s doing things on the track that’s making it easier for us to do stuff off the track,” David Murry said. “By doing this, not only is he going to be exposed to both worlds, but hopefully there will be a little light shed on it because he’s doing it the same weekend.”

The two-hour Road America 120 is scheduled for Saturday, August 3 at 5:05 p.m. EDT (4:05 p.m. CDT) and can be streamed live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary. The NBCSN broadcast will air on Monday, August 12 at 3 p.m. EDT.

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