Every Memorial Day weekend as the sport embarks on the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, the NASCAR community pays tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the United States of America. Ty Dillon and Germain Racing honored the late PFC Charlie C. Anthony on the windshield of the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1, while also hosting PFC Anthony's dear family and friends at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
After posting a solid qualifying effort of 20th on Thursday evening and having two successful practice sessions on Saturday morning, Dillon and the GEICO Military team were ready for 600 miles of racing action. Early in the first 100-lap stage, the 26-year-old reported a tight handling condition, prompting crew chief Matt Borland to make significant changes to the No. 13 Camaro Z L1. Dillon noted those adjustments "definitely helped" at the conclusion of Stage 1, while running in the 22nd position. The strong performance continued as the "geckoflage" machine stayed inside the top-25 for the majority of the second stage. When the caution slowed the pace on lap 200, Dillon was scored in 24th-place.
As the third stage began under the lights, the GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 came to life and continued to set pace inside the top-25. Dillon battled to put the Germain Racing entry in position to receive the Lucky Dog and the needed caution came on lap 273, allowing the No. 13 to return to the lead lap. On lap 300, Dillon held the 21st position and quickly moved into 17th-place by the lap 3
08 restart. During the fourth and final stage, Dillon ran no lower than 23rd, and in the closing 10 laps gained two additional positions to cross
the finish line in 21st-place.
"I've been telling everyone all season that we're constantly growing and improving as a race team, and we certainly showed everyone that this weekend," said Dillon, after the race. "We had speed on Thursday and had our best qualifying effort of the year. We worked hard in practice on Saturday and felt really good about our chances in the race. There were definitely challenges throughout the night, but it was a good race for us in comparison to other mile and a half tracks we have run at this year. I ran on the lead lap for most of the night, even battling back to get our lap back in Stage 3, and our GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 had a pretty good balance under the lights. There is obviously still more work to be done, but we're going to keep digging and getting stronger every week."
Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO team will now travel north to Long Pond, Pennsylvania, as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Pocono Raceway. Opening practice will take place on Friday, June 1st at 11:35AM ET, with qualifying scheduled for later that afternoon at 4:15PM ET.
The green flag will fly on Sunday, June 3rd at 2:00PM ET. FS1 will carry the live television broadcast, with the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 carrying the live radio broadcast.
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To learn more about Germain Racing, please visit: www.germainracing.com