RACE REPORT: Phoenix Raceway
The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season has gotten off to a fast start for Germain Racing, with the team finding speed at each track they have visited this year. When the final leg of NASCAR's three-week west coast swing got underway in Phoenix over the weekend, Germain Racing and Ty Dillon aimed to close it out in strong fashion.
The GEICO Team would ultimately deliver a top-15 finish at the race in the desert and carry momentum into their return to the east coast at the Atlanta race next week. The 15th place finish would account for their second such result in their three-week visit to the west coast, a notable achievement in racing's most challenging series. Dillon has now scored a top-10 (Las Vegas) and top-15 finish in just the first four races of the year.
On Friday, Dillon and his No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE found the speed they were looking for in final practice and shot to the top of the charts, finishing up fifth fastest. Qualifying left Dillon in the 25th position, however crew chief, Matt Borland, was armed with a solid race day strategy that would propel his driver forward.
When the green flag waved at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday afternoon, Dillon set sail for the front of
the field. Starting 25th, the GEICO Camaro made immediate progress, landing inside the top-20 by the close of Stage 1. Dillon continued his ascent up the scoring tower and was inside the top-10 during the final stage.
Dillon and the GEICO machine were consistent throughout the race and were in position to score a solid finish as the race wound down. The wild restarts often found the field five and six-wide, but Dillon exhibited a veteran's calm.
Initially scheduled for 312-laps, the FanShield 500 was extended, as a late-race caution would send the event into NASCAR overtime. Dillon took off from the 19th position on the green-white-checkered restart and made quick work of the four cars in front of him on the final lap to score a 15th place finish.
Dillon and the GEICO team finished NASCAR's west coast swing with two top-15's in three races, a notable accomplishment.
"My Germain Racing team pushed through all weekend to get our GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE where it needed to be. After first practice, we had some work to do, but by the end of final practice, our car was solid and in a good position to race well," Dillon said. "We battled through some handling stuff early in today's race, but consistently Matt (Borland) kept making changes that chipped away at it."
He continued, "The long run made our car come alive, so I wish we would have had another one of those towards the end. But when the caution came setting up the green-white-checkered finish, I knew I had to have a really good restart to gain as many positions as possible. To finish this west coast swing with two top-15 finishes is a strong start to the season for our team and I couldn't be prouder of all of my guys."
With the three-race west coast swing in the rearview mirror, Germain Racing will now stay a little closer to home when they travel just a few hours away to Hampton, GA, for race number five of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE will hit the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, March 13th, at 3:35 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow on Saturday at 12:05 PM (ET).
The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is on Sunday, March 15th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 2 PM (ET). The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.