Blown Tire Derails Ty Dillion’s Strong Vegas Run

Armed with three consecutive 21st place finishes, Ty Dillon and Germain Racing unloaded their No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway looking to continue their run of strong results. While the Indianapolis rain from the previous week was behind them, blistering heat welcomed the group as they hit the track for practice on Friday.
Dillon’s 30th place qualifying time was not reflective of the speed that awaited him under the hood of the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 when he arrived on pit road prior to Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event. Germain Racing was 23rd in Saturday’s opening practice session, which left the young gun strolling the starting grid with full confidence, freely talking of the car’s ability to garner a top-20 finish. Temperatures in excess of 100-degrees and bright sunshine were present when the green flag set the field underway for 400-miles of racing in Las Vegas.

Dillon quickly began to gather up real estate and was chasing down the top-25 early in the race. The No. 13 GEICO machine had speed and he was able to pass cars, gather positions and gain ground. The Germain Racing pit crew reciprocated during Dillon’s visits to pit road, always returning him to the racing surface in prompt fashion.

The race went to plan until lap 112 saw a tire blow on the GEICO Camaro ZL1 as Dillon exited the front straightaway, sending him hard into the outside wall, causing significant damage and sending the team to the garage. Rather than surrender and be dealt a 40th place finish, crew chief, Matt Borland, and the GEICO crew worked feverishly to make repairs in an effort to return Dillon to the racetrack. With 97 laps remaining, and 45-laps down to the leaders, Dillon rejoined the race in an attempt to capitalize on any impending attrition to gain positions. Borland’s direction proved wise, as Dillon was able to pick up six additional spots and salvage a 34th place finish by the time the checkered flag waved.
While other drivers were vocal in their thoughts about the tire situation at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Dillon’s comments were more measured.
“Today was one that just didn’t go our way. I fired off tight on each run, but my GEICO Camaro ZL1 would come to me the longer we would run,” Dillon said. “It’s unfortunate to have our day ruined by a blown tire because we had a lot more than what we got to show everyone. The right-side damage was pretty significant to the nose of our car, but we didn’t give up. It could have completely ended our day, but my team worked hard in the garage to get everything fixed and get me back out there. None of us wanted to quit. We still wanted to get all that we could out of this race and gain as many spots as possible. All we can do is hold our heads up and regroup to be ready for them next week in Richmond.”
With just nine races remaining in the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season, Germain Racing will now visit the Gecko’s backyard when they travel to Richmond, Virginia, which is located less than 100-miles from GEICO’s corporate headquarters.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 will hit the track at Richmond Raceway for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, September 21st, at 11:35 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 6:05 PM (ET).
The Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Saturday, September 22nd, and it will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 7:30 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
Speedway Digest Staff
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