Just two races remained on the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule when Ty Dillon and Germain Racing headed out west for the final time this year. With Veterans Day weekend as a highlight for the NASCAR community, Dillon's No. 13 Chevrolet was draped in the GEICO Military paint scheme in honor of our nation's veterans and military service members.
Practice offered little hope for Dillon and Germain Racing after they were 30th, 32nd and 30th in the three sessions. Qualifying followed suit and would tame any optimism after the team failed to advance to round two and was relegated to a 29th place starting position. At the close of qualifying, crew chief Bootie Barker assured Dillon that he would have the No. 13 GEICO Military machine ready to race. Barker would remain true to his word when racing got underway on Sunday.
A packed house and perfect weather conditions watched over the Cup Series field as they took the green flag for 312-laps of door-to-door racing action. Dillon started 29th, but would not take up residence in the spot, as he began charging the GEICO Military Chevy forward and gathering positions in bulk. By the conclusion of the race's opening stage, the young gun had climbed his way up to 17th, netting a 12-position gain and making clear that he possessed the speed to continue his trek to the front of the field.
Dillon continued hustling around the close-quarters one-mile oval and by the close of stage two, he was another position to the good in 16th. Dillon was happy with his No. 13 GEICO Military Chevy and he indicated over the team's radio frequency that the car was "pretty good right there." Dillon continued to compliment the car while collecting positions one at a time. He would ultimately break into the top-10 on lap 238 when he jumped to the ninth position.
When the checkered flag brought 312-miles of racing to a halt, Dillon and his No. 13 GEICO Military Chevy crossed the finish line in the 11th position. Dillon's effort accounts for Germain Racing's eighth top-15 finish of the 2017 season and matches the best finish (Talladega - October 15, 2017) of his very young Cup Series career.
"It was a good day. I wish we could have had some more of these throughout the season," Dillon said after exiting his GEICO Military Chevy. "When you are running good like that, you get to learn a lot more. We had a couple of mistakes that might have kept us from running even better than what we ended up, but proud of our effort. I learned a lot about what it takes to race good here in the Monster Energy Cup Series. I feel like all-in-all it was a great finish, but I feel like I learned more than what this finish is going to show. Excited to keep going and it is great momentum going into the last race of the year."
The final race of the season is next on the calendar for the Germain Racing team, as they pack up and head to south Florida for race number 36 of 36.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, November 17th, at 12:30 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 6:15 PM (ET).
The Ford EcoBoost 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Sunday, November 19th, and it will be televised live on NBC beginning at 2:30 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.