Staring at two consecutive NASCAR Cup Series races at a track dubbed, 'Too Tough To Tame' can be a daunting proposition, but Germain Racing looked both in the eye and prevailed. On Sunday, Ty Dillon scored a 19th place finish before returning to Darlington Raceway last night for a repeat performance. Dillon, along with seasoned crew chief, Matt Borland, and the GEICO team have posted a solid season thus far and it continued under the South Carolina night sky.
Dillon again carried the name of a frontline healthcare worker in place of his own above the driver window. This week, Germain Racing honored Mr. David Burnside, a telecommunicator for American Medical Response (AMR). Mr. Burnside is honored as a Star of Life for his quick action in saving a cardiac arrest victim while off duty, as well as assisting in the delivery of a baby via the phone.
A mid-week race demands a special paint scheme when your sponsor is GEICO. Dillon debuted the No. 13 GEICO Hump Day Camaro ZL1 1LE, on Hump Day, of course. It generated the obvious buzz and garnered the lion's share of attention throughout the day and evening.
Accompanied by Caleb the Camel on the hood of his No. 13 Germain Racing entry, Dillon and his Hump Day Camaro rolled off of the starting grid from the second position. The green flag waved and Dillon dashed out to the lead in the GEICO Hump Day Camaro. He led the race for eight laps in an event that resulted in 17-lead changes among 13-drivers. In a repeat performance from Sunday, he ran solidly throughout the evening and re-entered the top-10 later in the race.
Dillon was running in the 10th position with just 51-laps remaining in the advertised distance when a scheduled green flag pit stop forced him down pit road. The Germain Racing pit crew expeditiously outfitted the Hump Day Chevy with four fresh tires and fuel before returning it to the racing surface. Unfortunately, the caution flag would come out just after Dillon pitted, leaving him back in the 23rd position when the race returned to green. Despite the setback, Dillon and his Hump Day-themed Camaro made quick work of the cars in front of him and promptly returned to the top-20.
While severe weather threatened the start of the race, Mother Nature was merciful and allowed 208-laps of a scheduled 228 before blanketing the Darlington area with rain showers. Dillon had worked his Hump Day Chevy back up to 19th and was charging before NASCAR waved the red flag and ordered the Cup Series field down pit road, where they called the race with just 20-laps to go.
Dillon escaped two dances in the same week with the 'Lady In Black', scoring back-to-back 19th place finishes; a significant accomplishment at such a challenging facility. Notably, Dillon never departed the lead lap in either race, nor did he make contact with the outside wall, successfully avoiding the 'Darlington Stripe' in both events. Dillon's effort accounts for Germain Racing's fourth top-20 finish in the season's first six-races.
"My GEICO guys are awesome. They build and prepare solid Chevrolet Camaros each and every week, which gives me the confidence to dive it into turn one like I did at the beginning of the race without any practice laps," Dillon said. "For four-years now, I've trusted them and it just builds confidence as a driver. I appreciate all the hard work everyone at Germain Racing is putting in, especially with racing so close together right now. A pair of 19th-place finishes isn't a bad way to get this thing restarted and it was so cool to lead laps early, especially in the GEICO Hump Day car."
The longest race of the year now awaits the Germain Racing group just down the road in Concord, NC, for race number seven of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE will hit the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 24th for the legendary Coca-Cola 600. The race will be televised live on FOX beginning at 6 PM (ET). The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.