Murry Race Win

Cumming resident Dylan Murry, center, celebrates his win with co-drivers Jim Cox, left, and Jeroen Bleekemolen in the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240 in the Michelin Pilot Challenge racing series. Murry has won twice and finished on the podium in each of his last three races.  

CUMMING, Ga. — Cumming native Dylan Murry has established himself as a driver to beat after capturing two wins and three podiums in three consecutive races. Murry added additional hardware to his trophy case June 29 with a victory at the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240 at Watkins Glen International in New York in the International Motor Sports Association’s Michelin Pilot Challenge racing series. 

“Driving back to the pit lane, an official handed me the checkered flag, and I saw the entire Riley Motorsports team cheering me on, it was really special,” Murry said. “And to have my mom, my dad and my grandparents there was amazing.”

Murry, along with co-drivers Jim Cox and Jeroen Bleekemolen, had struggles in their Riley Motorsports Mercedes-Benz AMG GT4, but a late surge and intelligent pit strategy paid off with the three drivers standing atop the podium after the 4-hour race. Cox started the race with Bleekemolen running two stints in at the midway point and Murry piloting the AMG for the final hour and a half and into the victory circle. 

Damage to the AMG resulted in several flat tires, and three subsequent, unscheduled pitstops put the Riley Motorsports machine back in the pack. However, cautions allowed the No. 35 car to crack into the top-5. Bleekemolen then drove to second before handing the reigns over the Murry. 

“Knowing that we had a great chance to win, I pushed as hard as I could,” Murry said. 

A quick pitstop gave Murry the lead, but soon after, the weather came into play when a hard rain soaked around half of the 3.4-mile long course with under 30 minutes remaining in the race. 

While many teams running at the front of the pack opted to change to rain tires, Riley Motorsports made the decision to keep its AMG on slicks. 

“It was a challenge to hang on while on slicks,” Murry said. “Even under caution, a car in front of mine hydroplaned, and I nearly hydroplaned right into him. But it looked like a small rain cell, so we decided to not pit the rest of the race.” 

Murry led the field back to the green flag but running slicks on the damp racing surface shuffled him back to third behind two cars running rain tires. However, Murry said the decision to remain on slicks paid off with around nine minutes remaining. 

“Blue skies started to show, and the sun was shining,” Murry said. “Each lap I got progressively faster and [the leaders] got slower.”

With five minutes remaining, Murry executed a pass around the leading McLaren GT4 in the “carousel” portion of the track and continued to build his lead until the checkered flag flew for his dramatic first win in the Michelin Pilot Challenge series. 

Murry’s June 29 win comes just two months after he earned his first IMSA victory. 

Murry, along with co-driver Dakota Dickerson, dominated the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio May 5 in the IMSA Prototype Challenge series for his first professional race win. Murry and Dickerson led 60 laps of the 65-lap race in the MLT Motorsports Ligier JS P3 machine, the team’s first victory in just its second race. 

On the same weekend, Murry and Cox finished second in the Riley Motorsports AMG GT4 in the Michelin Pilot Challenge race. 

While Murry is enjoying his success in sports cars, the 18-year old still has his eyes set on rejoining the NASCAR ranks. The Cumming resident will continue to run sports cars in IMSA this season but will do double duty in the NASCAR K&N series at Watkins Glen with Jefferson Pitts Racing on August 2. The next day, he will race with Riley Motorsports at the Road America 120 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin in the Michelin Pilot Challenge. 

“It’s going to be a very busy weekend, but it’s going to be fun and beneficial to my career,” Murry said. “And I’m really excited to be able to do with two front-running teams in IMSA and NASCAR.”

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