TY DILLON AND THE GECKO HUSTLE TO 19TH AT THE GLEN
Watkins Glen, NY (August 6, 2017) - As the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season continues to move along, so does the impressive journey of Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate, Ty Dillon. The GEICO driver has had a successful foray into the Cup Series and he looked forward to his second road course race of the year when he hit the track at Watkins Glen International on Friday.
Dillon and his GEICO Chevrolet SS would have a busy day in the Finger Lakes Region of New York when Sunday rolled around. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series would both qualify and race on the same day. Dillon qualified 24th after touring the 2.45-mile road course in 71.22-seconds, at a speed of 124.012-mph.
Perfect weather and a sold out crowd would welcome Dillon and his Cup Series counterparts to the starting grid when they went racing just a couple of hours after qualifying was complete.
When the green flag set the field underway, Dillon started 24th, but collected two spots on the opening lap of the 90-lap event, moving into the 22nd position. However, just six laps into the race, he reported that he had no stopping power, while lap nine heard him mention the loss of his power steering. While the pit crew was at the ready, Dillon continued to battle on-track in order to avoid an unscheduled green flag pit stop, which would most assuredly relegate him to the rear of the field.
When stage one came to a close on lap 20, Dillon had navigated the No. 13 GEICO Chevy up to 17thand welcomed relief of the braking and power steering issues. He visited pit road for an extended pit stop where he received four fresh tires, a full tank of fuel and the Germain Racing pit crew pulled the tape from his front grill in order to allow air-flow to the brakes. Due to the additional time on pit road to inspect and diagnose the car, Dillon and his GEICO machine restarted from the 28th position when the race returned to green for the start of stage two. His pattern of collecting positions on restarts continued when he snagged two spots and quickly jumped to 26th.
The changes made by the GEICO crew proved fruitful and Dillon enthusiastically reported over the team's radio frequency on lap 46, "We're a lot better; I have something I can race with now." As the race wound down, fuel became a concern for all teams. Crew Chief, Bootie Barker, instructed his driver to save fuel in an effort to make it to the end. Despite conserving fuel, Dillon managed to hold off a charging Ryan Newman, and a host of others, as the race neared completion. The aggressive rookie followed Barker's orders and when the checkered flag closed out 220.5-miles of tight racing action, the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet crossed the finish line in the 19th position. The result accounted for Dillon's 15th top-20 result of the 2017 Cup Series season.
"Our day definitely improved from where we started. We had some brake and power steering issues at the very start, but I was able to keep it underneath me until we could bring our GEICO Chevy in during the first stage break," Dillon said after the race. "By the time we got to the final stage, we had the car handling exactly how I needed it. Fuel mileage games are always tricky, but everyone has to do their part. The engineers have to do the math, I have to back down my entries and the spotters have to tell me who I'm racing in fuel-saving mode, and who is packed full coming up behind me. It's a team effort, and we all did our jobs today to get it home with fuel in the tank and a top-20 finish."
Germain Racing will now head to the Irish Hills of Michigan for race number 23 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Michigan International Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, August 11th, at 11:00 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 5:05 PM (ET).
The Pure Michigan 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Sunday, August 13th, and it will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 3:00 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
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To learn more about Germain Racing, please visit: www.germainracing.com