When Ty Dillon and the Germain Racing team arrived in Daytona, they were focused on finding speed when practice got underway at the World Center of Racing. The season's first practice session went green on Saturday and Dillon and his No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE torched the 2.5-mile high-banks of Daytona International Speedway. Dillon eclipsed the 203-mile per hour mark and ended up first fastest on the speed chart.
Dillon and his GEICO Chevy rolled off of Thursday night's Bluegreen Duel No. 2 starting grid from the 15th position. Sporting a fresh, new GEICO paint scheme, Dillon remained measured in the opening laps. As early as lap 10, the driver shared his satisfaction with the GEICO Chevy. "I'm really happy with the handling, so far," Dillon said, while running in the 10th position. Soon after, he made his way into the sixth position on lap 18.
On lap 23, crew chief, Matt Borland, ordered Dillon to pit road for the driver's first stop of the night. The Germain Racing pit crew promptly refueled the No. 13 GEICO Chevy and returned Dillon to the racing surface. Within a few laps, an enthusiastic Dillon reported, "It feels pretty good. The best thing I've ever driven."
Dillon was up to the fourth position with just two laps to go in the race, but when things got dicey, he ended up without drafting help and opted for patience rather than making a move that would put his GEICO Camaro at risk. During the course of the race, the Germain Racing pit crew reciprocated Dillon's on-track efforts and when the checkered flag closed out 60-laps of racing under the lights in Daytona, Dillon collected an 11th place finish. Most importantly, the GEICO Chevy escaped the event unscathed.
"Our GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE handled so well in the draft. It's probably the best car I've ever driven here," Dillon said after climbing from his car. "We had a shot at it at the end, but I didn't have the help I needed to make a move. We ended up getting shuffled back a little farther, but man, I'm excited for Sunday. Matt (Borland, crew chief) and I will debrief and make the car even better with a few small tweaks during our final two practice sessions. Our Germain Racing team will be ready to go for the 500."
Just two practice sessions remain before Sunday's Great American Race. Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE will hit the track on Friday at 5:05 PM (ET), while final practice will take place on Saturday at 12:30 PM (ET). Both practice sessions will be televised live on FS1.
The Daytona 500 is on Sunday, February 16th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 2:30 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.