Short track racing at Bristol Motor Speedway is always action-packed, but when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series takes to the half-mile bullring at night, the atmosphere becomes electric. Unfortunately, Ty Dillon and his Germain Racing team were unable to use that energy to their advantage, as two pit road penalties hindered their performance, before a pair of blown tires ended the night early with just over 100 laps remaining.
"It really felt like we had some raw speed in our GEICO Chevrolet," said Dillon, after the race. "We had a couple pit road penalties and ended up three laps down. We earned one back and felt like we were fast enough to get more laps back. We got into the wall a little earlier on and probably weakened the ball joint a little bit. Once we hit the wall again, the car was done. It was a really rough night, but we did seem to have good speed in our car tonight."
After rolling from the 22nd starting position, Dillon ran inside the top-25 for the entirety of the opening stage before completing the segment in 24th-place. Misfortune would strike the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender on lap 133, as Dillon was forced to serve two pit road penalties for pitting outside the box and working on the car while serving his original violation. Despite these penalties relegating Dillon to the 33rd position, three laps behind the leaders, the GEICO Racing team continued to press on.
At the conclusion of stage two, Dillon had not only worked his way back inside the top-25, but also regained a lap, placing the No. 13 machine only a pair of circuits behind. While running in the 24th position, the right front tire on the GEICO Chevrolet blew on lap 354 to bring out a caution. The over-the-wall crew changed tires and fixed the minimal damage on pit road before allowing Dillon to resume. However, the misfortune continued to plague Dillon, as another right front tire blew on lap 397, forcing the car behind the wall. After surveying the damage, the Germain Racing team found an irreparable broken ball joint, which cut the race short and left Dillon with a 36th-place finish.
Dillon and his No. 13 GEICO Racing team will now enjoy a well-deserved weekend off, before returning for the final stretch of 12 races to end the 2017 season. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will take to the historic Darlington Raceway on Friday, September 1st for opening practice at 1:00 pm ET, with qualifying scheduled for Saturday, September 2nd at 2:00 pm ET.
The green flag will fly for the Bojangles Southern 500 on Sunday, September 3rd at 6:00 pm ET. NBC Sports Network will carry the live television broadcast, with the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 carrying the live radio broadcast.