RACE REVIEW: Dillon at Darlington Raceway
Prior to a well-deserved weekend off, Germain Racing and Ty Dillon turned in an 11th place finish at Michigan before collecting a top-20 at Bristol. This weekend, the track deemed 'Too Tough to Tame' welcomed a rested GEICO team to a hot and steamy South Carolina to celebrate the Labor Day holiday.
Known as, arguably, the toughest track on the NASCAR circuit, Ty Dillon looked to continue the momentum built over the previous weeks when the green flag kicked off 500-miles of racing on Sunday night. Dillon rolled off of the starting grid from the 29th position when the Bojangles' Southern 500 got underway after nearly a four-hour rain delay. While the rain departed, the fans did not, leaving a sold-out crowd to bear witness of the exciting racing that awaited.
Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 made immediate progress when the race went green. However, with 367-laps on tap, Dillon was measured in his approach, slowly picking up positions while carefully avoiding the outside wall where the infamous 'Darlington stripe' would await even the slightest error. Just 18-laps into the race, Dillon was as fast as the leader and was happy with the balance of his GEICO Camaro. When the competition caution slowed the field on lap 36, he was solidly in the top-25.
As he danced with the 'Lady in Black', Dillon routinely turned in top-five lap times and peeked into the top-20 by lap 141, before solidifying his position there on lap 165 of a scheduled 367. He continued hustling the No. 13 GEICO Camaro through the field, working his way into the top-10 before being forced down pit road on lap 259 for a scheduled green flag pit stop.
Dillon never surrendered his top-20 status and when the checkered flag halted the racing action three-hours and 44-minutes after the green flag initiated it, the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 crossed the finish line in the 20th position, bookended by Hendrick Motorsports drivers, Chase Elliott and William Byron. This is Germain Racing's third top-20 finish in as many weeks and their 10th on the season. It also accounts for Dillon's fourth top-20 result in his previous six starts.
"Darlington is one of those tracks that is so much fun to drive, but the race is also one of the longest inside the car," Dillon said under the Darlington night sky. "My GEICO Racing team pulled together and did a great job tonight and this entire weekend. We made steady gains on our Camaro ZL1 throughout the race and I tried to take care of my tires and car early on in runs to make up ground on the guys in front of us during on a long run. I'm proud of the effort everyone put in and another top-20 finish is good momentum for us. From start to finish, we executed well and it's a solid start to this final stretch of races."
Next up for Germain Racing is a trip to the Racing Capital of the World for race number 26 of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 will hit the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Saturday, September 7th, at 11:05 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow on Sunday at 10:35 AM (ET).
The Brickyard 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Sunday, September 8th, and it will be televised live on NBC beginning at 2 PM (ET). The IMS Radio Network will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
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