When the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rolled into Charlotte Motor Speedway for the All-Star Race weekend, the main unknown each team faced was a new aerodynamic package. With the addition of a taller spoiler and restrictor plate, Ty Dillon and the GEICO Military team knew the on-track racing action would be drastically different than the traditional package.
After Friday's lingering rain showers forced the cancelation of practice and qualifying for the Monster Energy Open, the No. 13 Camaro ZL1, draped in its military "geckoflage," took to the track for a one-hour practice session on Saturday morning. With only a 50-lap race to determine the three transfers into the main All-Star event, Dillon started from the 14th position. During the first 20-lap stage, the GEICO Military machine was "on the splitter really hard." Crew chief Matt Borland called Dillon to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel, and a new pair of front shocks. The second 20-lap stage found the 26-year-old quickly gaining positions in the draft, moving as high as seventh-place before finishing the run in ninth.
The GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 returned to pit road after the second stage for fresh tires and additional adjustments. Despite having to start from the rear of the field for the third 10-lap stage, Dillon was back inside the top-10 with five laps to go, before ultimately crossing the finish line in the eighth position.
"This new aero package was definitely exciting," said Dillon, after the race. "Our GEICO Military team worked hard all day to figure out the handling with limited practice time, but by the end of the third stage, we had the No. 13 Camaro ZL1 right where we needed it to be. I wish we were part of the main All-Star race, but thanks to everyone who voted for me to get in. We will come back here next week and get ready for the Coke 600."
Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Military team will return to Charlotte Motor Speedway next week, as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series prepares for the longest race of the season, the Coca-Cola 600. Opening practice will take place on Thursday, May 24th at 2:35PM ET, with qualifying scheduled for later that evening at 7:15PM ET.
The green flag will fly on Sunday, May 27th at 6:00 pm ET. FOX will carry the live television broadcast, with the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 carrying the live radio broadcast.
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