After kicking off July with a top-5 finish in Daytona, Germain Racing looked to continue their success in the summer heat when they arrived in New Hampshire over the weekend. A year ago, the group started 25th and finished 23rd at the one-mile facility, but turned the tables on the track that previously gave them headaches when the race weekend got underway. With improvement as the theme of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, Ty Dillon and the GEICO Military team would continue the trend and exit the Granite State with the desired result.
Dillon was 22nd in the opening practice session before crew chief, Matt Borland, and his band of engineers put pen to paper. When qualifying got underway late Friday afternoon, the changes made were evident when Dillon and his No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 toured the one-mile facility in a prompt 28.303-seconds, at a speed of 134.572-miles per hour. His effort landed him 18th on the starting grid and left him seven positions ahead of where he started in 2018.
When the green flag signaled the start of 301-miles of racing at the Magic Mile on Sunday, Dillon started his journey from the 18th position. While things initially went well, a vibration presented itself and he would need to deliver the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 to the Germain Racing pit crew under green flag conditions on lap 35. While the setback left him two laps down to the leaders, neither he nor Borland seemed concerned as they calmly discussed ways to regain lost real estate. After a few laps, Dillon reported, "If we can get track position back, we have a good car." Borland and company obliged, crafting a strategy that soon found the GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 back on the lead lap and near the front of the field, where Dillon ran for the balance of the day.
When the checkered flag closed out 301-laps of heated racing, Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 scored a 16th place finish, resulting in a seven-position improvement over a year ago. This accounts for Germain Racing's seventh top-20 of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season.
"We brought a great GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 up here to New Hampshire," Dillon said. "We had a loose wheel early on in Stage 1 that put us in a hole, but this team didn't give up. We took the wave-around when we could, and we were strong enough to grab the free pass position to get back on the lead lap. We had to work on getting more grip out of our tires in Stage 2, but by the final stage my balance really came in nicely on each run. These guys did a great job on pit road and my spotter gave great feedback throughout the day. Today was really a team effort."
The Tricky Triangle now awaits Germain Racing for race number 21 of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 will hit the track at Pocono Raceway for the weekend's opening practice session on Saturday, July 27th, at 9:05 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 4:05 PM (ET).
The Gander RV 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is on Sunday, July 28th, and it will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 3 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.