RACE REPORT: Atlanta Motor Speedway
As the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season marches on, Germain Racing and the GEICO team headed to Hampton, GA, today to do battle at the always fast and challenging 1.54-mile quad-oval located just 25-miles south of Atlanta. Blazing heat would also welcome Ty Dillon and his Cup Series counterparts when they arrived on the starting grid.
A random qualifying draw left Dillon and his No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE to start the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 from the 28th position. When the green flag turned the field loose for 325-laps of racing, Dillon immediately darted into the top-20 in the first three laps. The GEICO Camaro was sporty and soon found itself in the 18th position, a net gain of 10 positions in just the opening laps of the race. The Germain Racing pit crew was efficient throughout the day and made quick work of the GEICO machine during each visit to pit road.
Dillon began battling handling issues, coupled with a loss of downforce, as the race progressed.
"Rear lateral grip keeps going away," he radioed to his crew on lap 132. "I don't have the rear security that I started the race with."
Dillon and the GEICO Camaro were strong on restarts, but the car would fall off as the run wore on. The Germain Racing pit crew made adjustments to help Dillon, but he continued to find himself at odds with his racecar. Despite the challenge, he remained heavy on the gas and was turning solid lap times.
Unfortunately, an untimely and debatable speeding penalty late in the race put a dagger in Dillon's day. NASCAR determined that Dillon was too fast on entry as he hit pit road for a scheduled green flag stop with only 57-laps remaining in the race. Dillon was forced to serve a pass-through penalty, leaving him multiple laps down to the field as the race neared its end. When the checkered flag closed out 500-miles of racing, Dillon was credited with a 29th place finish.
"Long day for our GEICO Camaro team. We started the race fast, but over time, our car just didn't have the grip that those fast guys did," Dillon said. "Even though we didn't get the finish we were looking for, Matt (Borland) and the guys never gave up all day. During the last green flag stop, I made a mistake, sped on pit road and then had to do a pass-through penalty. Just a tough day overall. We will keep digging as a team and go to Martinsville on Wednesday and look to rebound in the GEICO Hump Day Chevy."
Short-track racing is next up on the calendar for Germain Racing, as they head to Martinsville, VA, for race number 11 of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Hump Day Camaro ZL1 1LE will hit the track at Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday, June 10th, for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. The race will be televised live on FS1 beginning at 7 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.