By Sarah Handy, Staff Writer
It was typical Talladega racing for the NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday, a race that saw 13 cautions and a multitude of wrecks. However, it was also a career best day for Germain Racing driver Ty Dillon.
In his fourth full-time season in the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet for Germain Racing, Dillon ran a consistent and clean race, avoiding the carnage that took out a number of top names including Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney and Kurt Busch.
Rolling off the starting grid for the 200-lap event in 28th, Dillon would finish Stage 1 in 21st but round out Stage 2 with a solid 9th place showing.
In a race that went into triple over-time, Dillon was able to stay at the front of the pack and bring home his No. 13 in third. The finish marked not only Dillon’s best showing in his NASCAR Cup Series career to date but also Germain Racing’s best finish at NASCAR’s elite level.
It also marks Germain Racing's best finish as a team in the top level of the sport. pic.twitter.com/DNcBPUJrRP
— Germain Racing (@GermainRacing) October 4, 2020
“It feels great, I’m sure everyone’s aware our team announced we are selling, and has been sold,” Dillon said. “The relationship between myself, Germain Racing, GEICO and the 47 employees at Germain Racing is coming to an end, unfortunately. We all promised each other when it was announced that we would give everything we had until the end and this was [kind of] a statement for our team together.”
At this time, Dillon’s plans for 2021 remain unknown but he remains hopeful for the future and wants to remain racing.
“I feel like I am one of the top-level drivers in the Cup Series, I just need the correct opportunity,” expressed Dillon. “I’ve proven it is in the Xfinity Series in every race I’ve won if you go back and watch.” I absolutely want to be in the Cup Series. I feel like in the right situation, over the right time I can win races and be a Championship contender.”
“My time is not up here; I definitely have a lot to prove still. I feel like I’m starting to reach a pinnacle of my life physically and mentally as far as a Cup driver, I’m so eager for the next opportunity,” said Dillon. “But as far as the opportunity, I have nothing yet. Hopefully, this inspires some more talks and more sponsorship opportunity, it’s getting to a tough place in the sport where you have to bring money with you as far as sponsorship. A little bit goes a long way right now. And if I have to take an opportunity to go back down to the Xfinity Series to win races there and re prove myself, I will absolutely take it. But I’m a hungry driver and I want an opportunity next year to continue to prove what I can do and start fresh.”
Dillon acknowledged his third-place finish was also a statement made for himself as he seeks that next opportunity in his career.
“I have some anger built up and a little bit of fire because I want that opportunity now for next year, I want it now because I believe in myself.”
Many have speculated that Dillon could end up in a third car at RCR in 2021. But Dillon spoke to the media post-race saying the opportunity isn’t really there for him at RCR between money and his brother Austin Dillon and fellow competitor Tyler Reddick both under contract.
“The opportunity [really isn’t] there at RCR for me,” said Dillon. “They have two drivers who are under contract. It’s not like I can bring enough money to start a race team over there. Hopefully, we can do something to work together with another team. I haven’t [really] been an RCR driver for four years and I hope people can understand I can bring value to a team respectively not just because of who I am but because of my talent. I’m really eager to see what’s next for my career.
Dillon has competed in the NASCAR Cup Series for the past seven years, with the last four being full-time. Heading into this weekend’s event at the Roval he has earned two top-five and six top-10 finishes.
Additionally, he has competed in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. In NXS competition he has one win, 33 top-five and 88 top-10 finishes. On the Truck Series side, Dillon has three wins, 20 top-five and 36 top-10 finishes.
Hit the ❤️ to congratulate the team on yesterday's result. pic.twitter.com/iLfiiW9FgW
— Germain Racing (@GermainRacing) October 5, 2020
Photo By: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP Photo