RACE IN REVIEW: Ty Dillon Scores Career-Best Finish at Daytona
Germain Racing and Ty Dillon consider Daytona International Speedway as their home track, of sorts, given their well-documented success at the historic facility. The GEICO team has netted top-6 finishes in their previous two visits and looked to continue their string of impressive performances when they arrived in Daytona Beach for practice on the Fourth of July.
Dillon and company made themselves right at home on Thursday when practice got underway at the World Center of Racing. He shot up the board in both practices and had the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 sitting second and 10th when the respective sessions came to a close.
While Germain Racing sat armed with a fast racecar and eagerly awaited qualifying, Mother Nature intervened and caused the cancelation of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying on Friday. The field was set according to owner points and Dillon would roll off of the Coke Zero 400 starting grid from the 23rd position.
Heavy rain blanketed the Daytona Beach area on Saturday night as the start of the race approached, handing Mother Nature the win and leaving Dillon and his counterparts to return and
do battle on Sunday afternoon.
When the green flag waved at 1:04 PM (ET) on Sunday, Dillon rolled off of the Coke Zero 400 starting grid from the 23rd position. He immediately pedaled the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 forward and didn't look back. Dillon was 22nd when stage 1 concluded, but was in the top-10 just a handful of laps into the second stage. Weather threatened for a large part of the race, but held off until late in the 160-lap event.
With the skies darkening and storms moving into the Daytona area, business picked up on the racetrack with drivers jockeying for position as they looked to secure their places among the leaders. Accordingly, a hard-charging Dillon wheeled around the high-banked 2.5-mile superspeedway, gathering real estate and making his way to the front of the field. When lightning brought out the red flag with just 33-laps remaining, he had the GEICO Military Camaro in fourth place.
As drivers exited their cars for the weather delay, Dillon climbed from the No. 13 entry smiling as he looked forward to returning to green flag conditions after the 30-minute lightning break. Crew chief, Matt Borland, and the Germain Racing crew conferred with Dillon upon his arrival in the team's pit stall and all agreed they had a car to win the race.
Unfortunately, rain would set-in and NASCAR would declare the race official with only 33-laps of the scheduled 160 left to contend. The GEICO Military team continued their string of success at the World Center of Racing and scored a fourth place finish. More notably, they depart Daytona with an impressive third consecutive top-10 result (6th in July, 2018 and 6th at the 2019 Daytona 500) at the famed racing facility. Dillon's effort would also account for Germain Racing's first top-5 of the season and his personal career-best NASCAR Cup Series finish.
The success that Germain Racing has experienced at Daytona International Speedway over the years is well-documented and, arguably, unrivaled in NASCAR Cup Series competition.
While Dillon and the GEICO Military team were pleased with the fourth place result, a win is what they had dwelling in their minds. Inclement weather, however, would not offer them the chance to make a run for the trophy.
"We didn't have a chance to race for the win, but this was a first top-five and best finish ever for me and I'm pretty pleased with that," Dillon said. "I'm thrilled for our Germain Racing team. It's a nice little shot in the arm for our GEICO Military team to get the second half of the season going. There has been a little bit of disappointment the last couple of weeks, so to be able to have a good finish is going to catapult us into the second half of the season, and hopefully we continue to build off that momentum. I'm proud of our effort today. Sometimes it just seems to work out."
Germain Racing will now load up their No. 13 entry and head to the Bluegrass state for race number 19 of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 will hit the track at Kentucky Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, July 12th, at 11:35 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 6:05 PM (ET).
The Quaker State 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Saturday, July 13th, and it will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 7:30 PM (ET). The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
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