By: Toby Christie
Wow, the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway was an incredible race. There was feverish action up front and through the pack throughout the entire 500-lap slugfest, and there was even a feel-good story as the German Racing team and driver Ty Dillon collected their first-ever Stage win.
Dillon set himself up to take the first Stage of the event by moving his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 into the top-10 from the 24th starting position.
As the first Stage was drawing to a close, a caution at lap 118 shuffled the deck. While the majority of the field came to pit road under this caution, Dillon stayed on track along with the race leader Clint Bowyer.
Bowyer elected to start from the inside line in hopes that he could clear Dillon heading into turn one. He couldn’t. Dillon stayed right there and actually now had the momentum of carrying speed from the high lane.
Dillon would hang on to edge Bowyer out for the Stage win in dramatic fashion.
“That was huge for our team, to go head-to-head with the top teams is huge for GEICO and Germain Racing,” Dillon said following the race. “That was a really cool moment, something we are really proud of. We are proud of the direction we are going with our race team. We are going to keep getting better for Chevrolet, GEICO and Germain Racing. I’m really proud of how we are doing with our Camaro.”
It was an awesome moment as the Germain Racing team was spotlighted on the FOX Sports race broadcast. For a moment the once struggling team had arrived.
Dillon battled admirably the remainder of the race, eventually settling for a solid 15th-place finish.
This marks Dillon’s fourth top-15 finish through eight races in 2019. What’s the big deal? Well, to put it in perspective the team had five top-15 finishes in all of 2018. They have undoubtedly made huge gains as an organization from a year ago.
Can Dillon and Germain Racing win more Stages or even a race this season? That remains to be seen, but Sunday at Bristol was a huge step in the right direction for this underdog team.