Ty Dillon and Germain Racing headed to the Finger Lakes region of New York for this weekend's second road course event of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. After a solid outing in Watkins Glen a year ago, the GEICO team was anxious to turn their driver loose when practice got underway on Saturday.
Dillon and his No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 were 27th in the opening practice. Between sessions, crew chief, Matt Borland and his band of engineers huddled up and found some speed. Their work would be rewarded when Dillon and his GEICO Military machine appeared quicker on the track and managed a top-20 practice time when final practice drew to a close.
Chamber of commerce weather and a full house set the backdrop for an exciting 90-laps of racing action on Sunday. Dillon rolled off of the starting grid from the 27th position when the green flag kicked off the 34th Annual 'Go Bowling at the Glen' NASCAR Cup Series race. The GEICO Military car was strong and Dillon had worked his way up to the 22nd position by the close of the event's opening stage.
At a race course where track position comes at a premium, Dillon refused to surrender, holding his ground as the race wore on. The Germain Racing pit crew reciprocated his efforts on pit road, making timely and effective adjustments to the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1. Dillon was up to 21st and charging before the No. 8 car of Daniel Hemric made contact with him on lap 51 of a scheduled 90. Dillon quickly traveled down pit road under green flag conditions, delivering his GEICO Military car to the attention of his pit crew. He sustained damage to the right rear of the racecar, while grass clogged the grill. Moving swiftly, the group made repairs and returned him to the racing surface without losing a lap.
Battling the handling that accompanies a damaged racecar, Dillon was unrelenting in his effort to remain on the lead lap, and did so until there were just a few laps to go in the race. While the damage was too much to overcome, and recovering lost positions proved an insurmountable challenge, a determined and hard-charging Dillon managed to salvage a 30th place finish for the GEICO Military team.
"I have always enjoyed road-course racing and wish our GEICO Military team had some better luck at these tracks," Dillon said after climbing from his car. "We worked on the handling throughout the first two stages and got it to where we needed it to be. It was the best it had been all day at the start of the final stage, and I feel like we were gaining some positive momentum. Unfortunately, the contact from the 8 car really set us back. We never could get that track position back, and it's so valuable at a place like Watkins Glen. My guys worked hard all weekend though, and we'll have another chance at a road course when we take on The Roval in September."
The Irish Hills of Michigan now await Germain Racing for race number 23 of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO team will hit the track at Michigan International Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, August 9th, at 12:35 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 5:05 PM (ET).
The Consumers Energy 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Sunday, August 11th, and it will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 3 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.