Entering the last 10 races of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, Ty Dillon and Germain Racing looked to kick off the final stretch on a positive note, beginning with Sunday afternoon's event at Chicagoland Speedway. Despite advancing to the second round of qualifying, which allowed the GEICO Racing machine to roll from the 23rd starting position, Dillon encountered an uphill battle once the green flag flew in the Windy City.
With the leaders setting a blistering pace that left only the top-15 cars on the lead lap in the opening stage, Dillon faced an ill-handling GEICO Chevrolet that was "tight in the middle, loose on entry and exit." Combined with a pair of 80-lap green flag runs that spread out the running order, the Germain Racing crew was left with only a few opportunities to improve the handling conditions for the rookie driver. With less than 100 laps to go, Dillon reported the balance of the No. 13 machine had improved. However, another lengthy caution-free run would prove too little too late for the Germain Racing team, leaving Dillon with a 28th-place finish.
"This wasn't the day that we were looking to have in Chicago," said Dillon, after the race. "We were too far off to start the first stage. I was way too loose and didn't have any grip on entry and exit. My team made changes to get us handling better, but we had lost too much ground to the leaders by then. We've grown a lot as a team this year and the next step is to start these races stronger. We always get to where we need to be later in the race, but we need to be there from the time that we unload on Friday morning. This team grinds like no other, though, and we will take what we can from this weekend and use it to be better at this track next year."
Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Racing team will now head northeast to Loudon, New Hampshire for the final time this season. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will take to New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday, September 22nd for opening practice at 11:30 am ET, with qualifying scheduled to take place later that evening at 5:15 pm ET.
The green flag will fly for the ISM Connect 300 on Sunday, September 24th at 2:00 pm ET. NBC Sports Network will carry the live television broadcast, with the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 carrying the live radio broadcast.