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Dillon salvages 26th place finish after tire threatens day in Fontana

Monday, Mar 02 476
Dillon salvages 26th place finish after tire threatens day in Fontana NK Photography Photo
Germain Racing has been fast since they first unloaded the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE at Daytona International Speedway in mid-February.  Ty Dillon topped the speed charts at a blistering 203-miles per hour in Daytona and then cruised to a top-10 finish a week ago in Las Vegas.  The GEICO team looked to continue the trend when they arrived in southern California on Friday for the third race of the NASCAR Cup Series season and part two of three of the sport's west coast tour. 
 
Dillon hit the two-mile facility in Fontana and immediately found his groove, ending up 15th fastest when the weekend's opening practice session came to a close.  He would later qualify 24th and the Germain Racing crew made adjustments to the GEICO Camaro when handling issues seemed to hamper their efforts.  Their hard work was of benefit as Dillon's No. 13 machine was better when the race got underway on Sunday. 
 
Rain threatened, but never impacted, Sunday's 400-mile event.  Plenty of multi-lane racing action took place when the green flag set the field underway amid uncharacteristically chilly temperatures.  Dillon started off loose, but the No. 13 GEICO Camaro was making progress during the first half of the event, peeking into the top-20 and leaving the team hopeful as the halfway point approached. 
 
The car would tighten up as the race wore on, but a relentless Dillon was persistent in his efforts.  He had the GEICO Camaro in the 22nd position during the final stage of the race and appeared poised for another strong result.  The final laps would make the difference, however, when a tire began coming apart.  Dillon was forced to lighten up on the gas pedal and focus on protecting his ca
r and not falling victim to a blown tire, which would most likely ensure a meeting with the outside wall. 
 
Dillon skillfully managed to deliver his GEICO Camaro across the finish line unscathed and salvage a 26th place finish.
 
"Our GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE wasn't where we needed it to be this weekend.  Matt (Borland) and I worked through some things during practice and definitely made the car better to start the race," Dillon said after climbing from his car.  "But once we got going, the car was loose, we made it better in the middle and towards the end, it just got too tight.  I felt one of our rear tires starting to come apart in the final few laps, so I took care of the car to make it to the finish.  Even on days like today where we didn't get the result we wanted, our team continues to push through and we will keep working to make our program better.  We are learning as a group to capitalize when we need to and I'm looking forward to going to Phoenix for a strong weekend." 
 
The west coast swing continues and Germain Racing's team transporter will take to the highway and make its way to Phoenix, AZ, for race number four of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. 
 
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE will hit the track at Phoenix Raceway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, March 6th, at 3:35 PM (ET).  Qualifying will follow on Saturday at 2:35 PM (ET). 
 
The FanShield 500 is on Sunday, March 8th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 3:30 PM (ET).  The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
 
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