Matt Borland called his driver to pit road for hood and fender repairs, making the stop without losing a lap. Unfortunately, when the field went back green, Dillon was forced to pit three additional times for service, burying the GEICO Camaro ZL1 back in the 36th position, 17 laps down. With two additional red flags for inclement weather and only 204 laps complete, NASCAR postponed the remainder of Sunday's event to Monday afternoon.
Early Accident Forces Ty Dillon To Battle For 28th-Place Finish at Bristol
The ability to overcome adversity is a characteristic of any top-notch team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, Ty Dillon and the GEICO Racing team were faced with numerous frustrating obstacles. From the unpredictable weather of rain and sleet forcing the second half of Sunday's Food City 500 to be postponed until Monday to substantial fender damage forcing Dillon to pit under green three times, the Germain Racing team continued to battle and gain as many valuable championship points as possible. When the checkered flag flew at the conclusion of the 500-lap event, Dillon crossed the finish line in the 28th position.
Despite rolling from the 32nd starting position, Dillon quickly dodged an early accident on lap three to gain 11 positions and knock on the door of the top-20. However, as the field had completed less than 50 laps, the first rain shower arrived at the Tennessee short track, causing a half hour red flag. Once the track drying process was complete, Dillon climbed back aboard his GEICO Camaro ZL1, ready to resume his strong run. While continuing inside the top-25, the No. 13 Germain Racing machine received contact from behind as Dillon checked up to miss a wreck on lap 62. Crew chief
When the GEICO Racing team returned to the World's Fastest Half-Mile on Monday, the goal was simple: avoid the impending wrecks to gain as many positions and points as possible. With every position on the track translating into one point in the championship standings, the team was focused on making the best out of their misfortune. Restarting from 32nd-place, Dillon steadily kept his car out of harm's way and by the time the checkered flag flew, the GEICO Camaro ZL1 came home in the 28th position.
"I always love coming to Bristol Motor Speedway," said Dillon, after the race. "It's unfortunate that it wasn't very nice to our GEICO Racing team this weekend, but we made the most out of what we could. We had to take a lot of time during the first stage to fix damage to our front end after I was checking up for a caution and was punted into the 47 car. It put us 17 laps down, but no one on this team gave up when it would have been easy to. We came back this morning to gain as many spots as we could. Every position is worth a valuable championship point. Our goal was to let the chaos breakout in front of us while we ran a clean race to make it to the end, and we did. It is certainly not the result we wanted, but those are the breaks in racing sometimes. We will keep digging and head to Richmond next weekend."
Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Racing team now head to the state of Virginia, as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series embarks on Richmond Raceway on Friday, April 20th for opening practice at 11:05AM ET, with qualifying scheduled to take place later that evening at 5:30PM ET.
The green flag will fly under the lights on Saturday, April 21st at 6:30 pm ET. FOX will carry the live television broadcast, with the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 carrying the live radio broadcast.