RACE IN REVIEW: Ty Dillon at Sonoma Raceway
When the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visited wine country for the year's first road course race, Ty Dillon arrived with the popular GEICO Military paint scheme and famed 'Geckoflauge'. A newly configured Sonoma Raceway awaited Dillon and Germain Racing when they unloaded for practice on Friday.
Dillon and his No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 were 24th and 23rd in the weekend's respective practice sessions. The added 'carousel' presented its challenges for all drivers in practice and qualifying.
Dillon started 31st on Sunday when the green flag signaled the start of 90-laps of racing. He was heavy on the gas and moved the GEICO Military Camaro into the 29th position in the opening two laps. Dillon began battling a tight condition halfway through the race's opening stage. In a strategy call, crew chief, Matt Borland, ordered the No. 13 entry to pit road under green flag conditions with just three laps to go in stage 1. The GEICO pit crew quickly outfitted Dillon with four fresh tires, a full tank of fuel and a much-needed chassis adjustment. He would return to the racing surface in 35th place, but found himself in the 14th position as stage 2 got underway.
The changes to Dillon's GEICO Military machine were helpful and he had better balance in the car as he hustled his way around the 12-turn road course. He was in the 15th position as things got started in the third and final stage. Dillon began searching for rear lateral grip before making a scheduled green flag pit stop with just 30-laps remaining in the 90-lap event. Dillon spent the balance of the day quiet on the team's radio frequency as he hustled around the northern California road course gathering as much real estate as possible. By the time the checkered flag halted a hot afternoon of racing, Dillon had pedaled the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 up to the 27th position.
"Sonoma is a tough racetrack. Only coming here once a year definitely makes it more challenging to learn how to get around the course, and this was only my third time racing here," Dillon said after climbing from his car. "The addition of the carousel added an extra layer of difficulty. Our GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 started out pretty tight going both right and left, but my team made great changes to get our balance back to where we needed it. My rear grip just started to fade at the end. But, I have a lot of notes from this weekend to study for next year. We will keep building and getting better each time we come to Sonoma."
Next up for Germain Racing is a visit to the Windy City for race number 17 of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 will hit the track at Chicagoland Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Saturday, June 29th, at 11:05 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 6:35 PM (ET).
The Camping World 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Sunday, June 30th, 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.
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