Auto racing is full of uncertainty during any weekend, but especially as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visited the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course, which has been coined the 'Roval'. Practice saw a dozen cars crash, but Ty Dillon managed to keep his No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 clean during each session. He improved his position in each practice and appeared with a veteran's calm while much of the Cup Series exhibited concern.
Qualifying saw Dillon wheel his No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 around the 2.28-mile, 17-turn road course in just 78.455-seconds, at a speed of 104.620-miles per hour, landing him 26th on Sunday's starting grid.
When the green flag sent the NASCAR Cup Series 'Rovaling' on Sunday, Dillon focused on staying out of trouble amid heavy concern that calamity could strike the field in the opening laps. Dillon survived and quickly moved his GEICO Camaro ZL1 into the top-25. Strategy was at play during the 109-lap event and crew chief, Matt Borland, kept his pencil sharpened atop the GEICO pit wagon.
Dillon pitted late during each of the first two stages, using a strategy that would put
him in contention as the race neared an end. He had the No. 13 GEICO machine in the top-10 by lap 72 and looked strong as he hustled up to eighth place. As the NASCAR Cup Series drivers pedaled around the Roval with the final laps winding down, a series of cautions would slow the field, the most critical of which was the second to last caution of the day, which came with eight laps to go.
Just six laps remained on the restart when a large incident ensued and Dillon sustained heavy right-side damage when he was collected by crashing racecars. After NASCAR announced that the race would return to green with only three laps to go, Dillon and crew chief, Matt Borland, opted to stay out rather than pit for repairs and surrender valuable real estate. At that point, a pit stop would have surely sent the No. 13 entry to the rear of the field.
Dillon and his GEICO Camaro ZL1 restarted from the 20th position when the final green flag of the day gave way to a wild final three laps. Despite piloting a badly damaged car, Dillon managed to hold his ground and score a strong 22nd place finish when the checkered flag waved as cars crashed just below the flag stand.
"I'm proud of this Germain Racing team. We were competitive all day and that's proof that we are headed in the right direction," Dillon said after exiting his No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1. "The Roval was interesting and definitely a challenge. While we got some damage during the race, we never had a huge accident like a lot of other guys. We will take today, continue to make our GEICO Camaro ZL1 faster, and head to Dover where we've run well in the past."
Germain Racing now heads to Delaware to do battle with the Monster Mile for race number 30 of the 2018 season.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 will hit the track at Dover International Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, October 5th, at 11 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 3:40 PM (ET).
The Gander Outdoors 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Sunday, October 7th, and it will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 2 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.