When Germain Racing arrived at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, they were met by a facility adorned in GEICO's corporate colors and images of their famous GEICO Gecko. The team has always been competitive at the high-banked restrictor-plate track and was focused on continuing their string of solid runs with Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Ty Dillon.
While GEICO dominated the signage at the track, Dillon looked to do the same when he took to the famed superspeedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday. Unfortunately, the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS would only make it to the end of pit road before Mother Nature blanketed the racetrack with heavy rain, forcing the cancellation of practice. The GEICO team would head into Saturday's qualifying session without having recorded a single lap in practice. When qualifying got underway, Dillon paced the 2.66-mile tri-oval in 51.095-seconds, at a speed of 187.416-miles per hour, placing him 28th on Sunday's GEICO 500 starting grid.
A near capacity crowd and bright sunshine welcomed the Cup Series drivers to the track on Sunday. Dillon started from the 28th position when the green flag signaled the start of the GEICO 500. He remained there only momentarily before making a move to the front that saw him gather 12 positions and capture 16th place by the close of lap four. After dropping to the rear of the field early on, Dillon would later emerge as the leader, where he would spend three laps atop the scoring tower.
The rookie spent the bulk of his day racing without any help from fellow drivers, leaving him to fend for himself as the race began to wind down. A late-race crash would send the event into overtime, where Dillon and his GEICO Chevy restarted 20th with two laps to go. Despite having no drafting help, the young gun somehow managed to work his way through the three-wide pack of racecars, collecting seven positions in the closing two laps and scoring a solid 13th place finish at GEICO's marquis event. Dillon's persistence resulted in Germain Racing's third top-15 finish in the first ten races of the young 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
"Well, it was an intense 500-mile race, but I think our GEICO Chevy ran well," Dillon said after climbing from his car. "It was tough to find cars to stay with us today, but we were able to move our way into the top-10 on a couple of occasions and even got out front to lead a few GEICO 500 laps. The car was a little tight, but overall it was a strong day for this Germain Racing team."
Next up for Germain Racing is a trip to the wheat capital of the world.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 Twisted Tea Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Kansas Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, May 12th, at 11:30 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 6:45 PM (ET).
The Go Bowling 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Saturday, May 13th, and it will be televised live on FS1 beginning at 7:30 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.