Ty Dillon qualified 16th for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 before having a strong run in the race in a fast No. 13 GEICO Military Camaro ZL1 1LE. Crew chief, Matt Borland, and his engineering team took good notes and were well-prepared when the NASCAR Cup Series returned to Charlotte Motor Speedway for another midweek battle.
Before Dillon had a chance to climb into his No. 13 GEICO Hump Day Camaro on Wednesday night, Mother Nature and her daughter, Tropical Storm Bertha, took the win and forced the postponement of the race to Thursday evening.
Dillon and the Hump Day Camaro rolled off of Thursday night's starting grid from the 25th position, but Dillon quickly noted that the car lacked power steering. Despite the challenging situation, Dillon quickly broke into the top-20. Rain and lightning would soon make their way into the Concord, NC, area, resulting in a red flag on lap 31 that delayed the race for just over an hour.
When the weather cleared and the race resumed on lap 35, Dillon and the No. 13 Hump Day Chevy restarted the race from the 22nd position. Without power steering, Dillon was unable to move his line around the track and soon began losing positions. He was turning in solid lap times and, after bottoming out in the 34th positions, Dillon was able to rebound and begin picking off the cars in front of him.
While the steering issue presented the obvious challenges, the No. 13 Hump Day Camaro remained quick and Dillon's optimism echoed across the Germain Racing team radio frequency. "I wish we had power steering, because I feel like this car is pretty good and it gets over the bumps really well," Dillon shared with Borland and the GEICO crew. The pit crew was efficient during all stops and did their part to prevent Dillon from losing positions on the racetrack.
When the checkered flag waved after 310.6-miles of racing, Dillon managed to overcome the lack of power steering, which plagued him the entire race, to post a 27th place finish in his No. 13 GEICO Hump Day Camaro.
"Our GEICO Hump Day Chevrolet was actually pretty good handling wise tonight. It drove well over the bumps, which was an area we struggled with on Sunday, so Matt (Borland) and the guys definitely improved our setup," Dillon said after the race. "Unfortunately, from the moment I pulled off of pit road before the green flag, I didn't have any power steering. We tried to fix it under caution, but when we couldn't diagnose the problem on pit road, I had to tough it out. The pit crew had solid stops all night long and we would've had a strong run tonight if it wasn't for the power steering issue. When we get back to the shop, we'll figure out what the problem was and move forward to Bristol."
The Germain Racing team will now load up their No. 13 entry and pay a visit to the World's Fastest Half-Mile for some exciting short-track racing.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE will hit the track at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 31st for the Food City presents the Supermarket Heroes 500. The race will be televised live on FS1 beginning at 3:30 PM (ET). The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.