Just four races remained on the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule when Germain Racing unloaded the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 at Martinsville Speedway for practice on Saturday. After finishing 22nd at Martinsville's spring event, Ty Dillon was laser focused on improving the result and continuing the team's effort to finish the season in strong fashion.
Dillon opened the weekend 25th in the first practice session, but he made a sharp jump up the scoring tower when he ended the final practice session eighth fastest. The GEICO Camaro would roll off of the starting grid from the 23rd position when race day rolled around on Sunday afternoon.
While the spring race was delayed due to a snowstorm, this weekend's race would be met with blue skies and temperatures in the 60's. When the green flag set the field underway for 500-laps of racing, Dillon was strong and did not surrender any real estate. Starting 23rd, he methodically made his way around the paper-clip shaped half-mile speedway, meticulously navigating fellow racers and working his way into the top-20 as the first stage approached its conclusion.
Dillon was less measured when the second stage got underway, as he immediately began a charge that would land the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 in the top-15 by lap 210. Dillon's spotter, Billy O'Dea, stayed busy on the team's radio frequency carefully directing his driver through traffic as the racing action intensified with the laps winding down. Dillon ran solidly in the top-10 and top-12 for the bulk of the afternoon, never losing ground at any point during the 500-lap race. The Germain Racing pit crew was near flawless on pit road, always returning the GEICO Camaro ZL1 to the racing surface in quick fashion.
The young gun exercised a veteran's calm throughout the day and when the checkered flag signaled the end of the First Data 500, Dillon crossed the finish line in the 15th position, improving seven places from the team's visit to Martinsville in March. Dillon's effort accounts for the GEICO team's fifth top-15 finish of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season.
"We have been building on this thing and getting better and better each week," Dillon said after climbing from his No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1. "Martinsville is a place where we knew that we could get more and more competitive. We really executed well and we had a great GEICO Camaro ZL1. I'm proud of the effort, and I'm proud of the way we are building these Camaros to get better and better each week. Hopefully we can roll this momentum into Texas and finish out the year strong."
Germain Racing will now visit the Lone Star State for race number 34 of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season. Dillon will sport the popular GEICO Military paint scheme at both the Texas and Phoenix races to honor Veteran's Day and our nation's military service members.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 will hit the track at Texas Motor Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, November 2nd, at 2 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 7 PM (ET).
The AAA Texas 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Sunday, November 4th, and it will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 3 PM (ET). The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.