After a tough start to the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, Germain Racing and driver, Ty Dillon, have started turning the tide as the year moves along. The group turned in strong finishes at Martinsville, Texas and Richmond, along with a top-15 finish a week ago at the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. The GEICO team aimed to continue the momentum when they arrived in Delaware this weekend to do battle with the infamous Monster Mile, a fast, one-mile racetrack located in the capital city of Dover.
Practice and qualifying both presented challenges for Germain Racing. Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 were 31st in all three practice sessions, while qualifying would leave the team starting Sunday's race from the 30th position.
Rain threatened the Dover area on Sunday, but it would not prohibit the start of 400-miles of racing. Dillon took off from the 30th position, but quickly hustled his way into the top-25 by lap eight.
He was optimistic when he said to the team, "Entry feels a little more solid today. I'm excited to see where this goes." Before long, however, he had his hands full with an ill-handling racecar, but the Germain Racing pit crew worked throughout the afternoon to make helpful changes.
When stage one came to a close, Dillon had the GEICO Camaro ZL1 up to the 23rd position and reported, "It's too loose to start, and then it started to tighten up." During the stage break, crew chief, Matt Borland, ordered the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 to pit road for four fresh tires, a full tank of fuel and air pressure and packer adjustments. As he approached the green flag for stage two, Dillon encouraged his GEICO team, "Keep digging, guys. I know it's a long day. The car isn't perfect, but we can make something out of this." Dillon rejoined the field and held up his end of the bargain while the Germain Racing crew did the same on pit road.
Rain blanketed the area with just 80-laps remaining in the 400-lap event, bringing out the red flag and halting the racing action. The race returned to green 41-minutes later and Dillon continued to charge hard around the high-banked speedway, keeping his GEICO Camaro ZL1 clean while seeking a strong result. In the end, Dillon and company would overcome an ill-handling racecar and the weather to score another Top-25 finish after taking the checkered flag in the 24th position.
"Today was a challenge for our GEICO Racing team. Dover is such a tough track to get a handle on, and we struggled with overall grip and speed throughout the weekend," Dillon said after the race. "Our GEICO Camaro ZL1 certainly wasn't perfect, but we kept working at it and made the most of what he had. This Germain Racing team has been gaining momentum over the past few weeks, and this weekend will not get us down. We are always building and improving our program so that we can keep growing as a team each and every week."
Germain Racing will now head to the Sunflower State for race number 12 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 Twisted Tea Camaro ZL1 will hit the track at Kansas Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, May 11th, at 12:35 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 6:45 PM (ET).
The KC Masterpiece 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Saturday, May 12th, and it will be televised live on FS1 beginning at 8:00 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.