May is always a welcomed time of the year, as all of the NASCAR teams get to sleep in their own beds for the back half of the month. It's also special because Germain Racing and GEICO partner each year to honor the United States military with the GEICO Military paint scheme, which features the ever-popular 'Geckoflauge'.
Germain Racing kicked off the week at home just down the road in Concord, NC, at the Monster Energy Open on Saturday night. Blazing heat made for the hottest All-Star weekend in NASCAR history, but it did not slow down Ty Dillon, who had the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 atop the leaderboard in the closing laps of the race.
Dillon posted a top-5 practice time on Friday before later qualifying 14th. Crew chief, Matt Borland, and his team of engineers were armed with a plan of attack that would send Dillon and his GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 to the front of the field. Germain Racing's pit crew would reciprocate throughout the evening and always leave Dillon in contention upon his return to the racing surface after pit stops.
When the green flag turned the field loose amid the blistering heat on Saturday evening, Dillon rolled off of the starting grid from the 14th position. He hustled his way through the field and closed out the opening stage in the eighth position. The second stage saw the GEICO Military Camaro continue its trek to the front and when it concluded, Dillon had worked his way up to the fourth position. Sensing a pattern, excitement built in the Germain Racing pit stall and on social media as Dillon appeared to get stronger as the race wore on. Even the announcers on both television and radio noted the speed of the GEICO Military Camaro ZL1.
With stage wins at both Bristol and Talladega, Dillon could smell the lead as the third and final stage got underway. The young gun dashed to the lead in his No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 and placed the saluting Gecko atop the scoring tower. He led five of the final ten laps of the race before being passed by a hard-charging Kyle Larson. The two drivers would pull away from the field and when the checkered flag drew the intense race to an end, Dillon crossed the finish line in the second position and accounted for Germain Racing's best-ever result at the 1.5-mile facility.
"We executed well tonight. Matt Borland (crew chief) made great calls from the pit box and our GEICO Military team had solid stops on pit road," a smiling Dillon reported after exiting his racecar. "We had ourselves in the perfect spot to start the final stage. I was able to beat the 42 car (Kyle Larson) on the restart and lead laps, and I wish we could have held on to win the race. But, we showed everyone that Germain Racing can build fast race cars. We're going to keep digging at the track and at the shop. This gives us a lot of confidence to come back here next week and race 600-miles."
The GEICO Military livery will remain in place on the No. 13 entry when Germain Racing begins practice for the Memorial Day weekend's running of the Coca-Cola 600. The team will honor Marine Corporal Bobby Steele on their windshield and Army Ranger SFC Matthew Thomas on the decklid of the GEICO Military Camaro.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 will hit the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Thursday, May 23rd, at 2:35 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 7:10 PM (ET).
The Coca-Cola 600 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Sunday, May 26th and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 6 PM (ET). The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.