Germain Racing arrived in the Lone Star State boasting a string of three strong finishes at Indianapolis, Kentucky and last week's All-Star Open at Bristol Motor Speedway. The No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE has been fast, so Ty Dillon looked forward to hitting the track in Texas on Sunday.
The team's speed continued during Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway and Dillon was fast all afternoon, running solidly in the top-15 and top-20 before late-race crash damage ended his strong run.
Blistering heat welcomed Dillon and his NASCAR Cup Series counterparts to the track on Sunday. The green flag waved just after 3 PM (ET) as temperatures climbed. Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro started the O'Reilly 500 from the 30th position (random draw), but collected five spots in the opening two laps and broke into the top-25. Passing was at a premium, but Dillon continued moving forward, gathering another two positions and moving into 23rd just two-laps later.
The heat persisted and during the second stage of the race, the temperature soared to 144-degrees inside Dillon's GEICO Camaro. Dillon's physical training regimen is one of the toughest in the sport, so he was well-prepared for the in-car heat and got faster as it got hotter. He had the No. 13 GEICO Chevy in the 15th position by lap 122 and took over 14th a brief four laps later.
Dillon had the GEICO Camaro up to the sixth position on lap 176 and was turning his fastest laps of the race before visiting pit road for a scheduled green flag stop. The Germain Racing pit crew quickly outfitted the GEICO Camaro with four fresh tires and fuel before returning it to the racing surface.
A crash occurred on lap 218, but Dillon was able to avoid the carnage. He was in the 16th position when Jimmie Johnson unexpectedly slammed into the rear of Dillon under caution, causing significant damage to the rear of the No. 13 entry. Dillon delivered the GEICO Camaro to the attention of his pit crew under caution and the group worked expeditiously to repair the car, returning him to the track without losing a lap and one spot to the good in 15th place. Dillon then quickly jumped to 13th when the green flag restarted the race on lap 225.
Dillon was running strong and had the No. 13 GEICO Chevy Camaro solidly in the top-15 and top-20. On lap 252, Dillon made contact with the No. 24 car of William Byron, sending the No. 13 machine hard into the outside wall and causing significant damage to the rear of the car. Dillon made multiple visits to pit road for repairs, but ultimately headed to the garage on lap 278 of a scheduled 334 after time expired on the crash damage repair clock.
"I hate it for my Germain Racing team. Our GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE was really good today," Dillon said. "We just battled being loose at the start of a run, but it would get better and better as the laps clicked away. My guys worked extremely hard to turn this car around from Kentucky and we were putting ourselves in position to have another solid top-15, top-20 finish. I got loose under the No. 24 car and I hate that it ruined both of our days. We will go get after it in Kansas on Thursday."
Next up for Germain Racing is a trip to the Sunflower State for race number 19 of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Ty Dillon and the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1 1LE will hit the track at Kansas Speedway on Thursday, July 23rd, for the Super Start Batteries 400. The race 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.