When Ty Dillon and Germain Racing departed Homestead-Miami Speedway after the 2019 season finale, the group was already eyeing the upcoming 2020 season, with talk of building new racecars and a demanding off-season schedule, while also reflecting on a just completed successful year in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Their optimism is justified after a strong finish to a season that already served as a breakout year of sorts, as Dillon and the GEICO team recorded multiple stage wins, a top-five finish, three top-10's, nine top-15's and 16 top-20's.
Notably, the GEICO team did not post even a single DNF (did not finish), which, aside from Dillon's talent as a driver, is also indicative of the crew's attention to detail, leaving their driver without any mechanical failures. The team also experienced a 3.7 position improvement in qualifying, a 3.5 position improvement in finishing position and gained three positions in the point standings over a year ago. In all categories, Germain Racing either equaled or improved upon their 2017 and 2018 performances.
While 2019 served as Dillon's third year as the driver of the No. 13 entry, it was just crew chief Matt Borland's second. Widely known as one of the smartest and hardworking guys in the NASCAR garage, Borland spent his inaugural year with Germain Racing putting his handprint on a growing program. He spoke clearly about his goals and vision for the GEICO team and he also built a strong relationship with his young and talented driver. 2019 saw the result of Borland's time investment, with a visible culture shift that was evident throughout the organization.
When Dillon and Borland arrived at Daytona International Speedway in February 2019, their communication was crystal clear and a symbiotic relationship was in place, which would deliver desired results as the season progressed. Dillon continued to develop as a Cup Series driver and Borland's confidence in him manifested itself in the form of strong finishes.
Not long after finishing sixth in the season-opening Daytona 500, the GEICO team scored a Stage win at Bristol Motor Speedway after Dillon battled Clint Bowyer door-to-door to the line to secure the top spot. Dillon also left the famed Gecko swelling with pride when he piloted the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 to yet another Stage victory at the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
While Germain Racing's 2019 on-track accomplishments have been well-documented, what largely goes unmentioned is that the organization completely uprooted their team from their Mooresville, NC, race shop following the 2018 season and relocated to the Richard Childress Racing campus in Welcome, NC. Most impressive is that they made this move in December with the holidays looming, leaving little time to unpack and begin preparing for the rapidly approaching 2019 season. The GEICO team could have easily provided the move as an excuse to regress, but rather they used it as a source of motivation and a springboard into the new year.
When asked about the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season, Dillon couldn't help but smile before sharing his thoughts.
"2019 for our GEICO team was a strong year, a big year of improvement. We were able to knock off some great milestones for Germain Racing and GEICO, winning two stages in the year and going hand-in-hand in the points with our technical alliance partners," Dillon said. "I'm very proud of the effort that went into the offseason, with changing shops. All the men and women at the shop had so much to do, and did it with sustained success and actually growth within our race team. I can't wait until 2020 and I know this team is going to continue to grow." He continued, "Our performance at mile-and-a-halfs has gotten stronger and stronger as Matt Borland and I's communication continues to grow and the team continues to strengthen. I'm excited for what's to come in the future and look forward to getting even better, running higher in the points week in and week out."
Ty Dillon and Germain Racing will enjoy the holidays and a busy winter at the race shop before packing up the No. 13 GEICO Camaro and heading to Florida in February for the 62nd annual Daytona 500.
The Daytona 500 is on Sunday, February 16, 2020, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 2:30 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.