Race Weekend Central

A Tale of 2 Ty Dillons

The silly season dominos keep fallin’, as Carson Hocevar announced he would take over the No. 77 car in the NASCAR Cup Series for 2024. Subsequently, Ty Dillon announced that he will depart from Spire Motorsports after the end of the 2023 season.

Dillon has bounced around with eight different Cup Series teams, while his brother Austin has been with their grandfather’s team, Richard Childress Racing, since his first full-time season in 2014.

With Ty Dillon’s future unknown, there are two paths that he could take for next season.

Kaulig Racing’s Cup Series Team

After winning last Sunday’s (Oct. 8) Cup race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, AJ Allmendinger was rumored to be demoted from Kaulig Racing’s Cup team down to the Xfinity Series due to financial reasons.

Kaulig Racing President Chris Rice said the decision has been made and to “wait for the announcement” on who would drive the No. 16 car in 2024.

Will the addition of Dillon to Kaulig Racing improve the team’s financial reasons and improve Hemric’s season? History tends to say yes.

Dillon announced that he would drive for GMS Racing in the Cup Series for the 2022 season. Shortly after, the team joined forces with Richard Petty Motorsports to become Petty GMS Racing.

Dillon’s teammate in 2022, Erik Jones, improved his average finish from 19.7 in 2021 to 16.3 in 2022, identical to his 2019 season with Joe Gibbs Racing. For the 2023 season, Jones is suffering one of his worst full-time seasons with an average of 20.4.

Petty GMS Racing’s 2022 season with Dillon and Jones was a success overall, and the team was able to bring Jimmie Johnson in as a team owner for the 2023 season. Now, the team will be able to jump up the manufacture totem pole with Toyota in 2024.

This season, Dillon jumped over to drive the No. 77 car for Spire Motorsports.

See also
2-Headed Monster: Is Hailie Deegan's Move Up to Xfinity the Right Call?

Corey LaJoie is having a career year with an average finish of 20.5, which is four spots better than any other season of his career. Spire Motorsports has been expanding rapidly by buying a charter for $40 million, partnering with Gainbridge and expanding into the Truck Series. Spire spent $6 million on a charter in 2018, and after a career year for LaJoie and the team, Spire’s initial investment has led to a business in racing worth north of $100 million.

Now, if the 2024 lineup for Kaulig Racing in the Cup Series was Daniel Hemric and Dillon, those drivers have combined for five wins in 735 starts in the top three series. Hemric last scored a win in 2021 and Dillon in 2014. The hunt may not be fruitful with this lineup for Cup Series trophies in 2024.

Dillon is viewed as a pawn for the charter teams trying to increase value. It worked for GMS Racing and Spire Motorsports. Could Kaulig Racing have the same idea?

Richard Childress Racing’s Xfinity Series Team

On Wednesday (Oct. 11), Sheldon Creed announced that he was leaving Richard Childress Racing’s Xfinity Series team at the end of the season.

In the Xfinity Series, Dillon has scored three top 10s with three different car owners in 18 starts since 2021. Despite not having a consistent team, Dillon has performed well.

Even back in 2021, Dillon made reference that he ran roughly half the car numbers that were on pit road. That mentality took a toll on him back then, and Dillon detailed his emotions on his own podcast titled “I Quit Today” after the Las Vegas Xfinity Series race in 2021.

Does Dillon want to face another season of racing for one team and being let go by the end of the season?

A self-investment into a Xfinity Series team could help Dillon establish a routine with the team and help Richard Childress Racing form a stronger Xfinity Series program.

Dillon would be driving in a playoff-contending car and would be a teammate of 2023 Xfinity Series championship favorite Austin Hill. Dillon could slot into a car that he knows that he can win in.

Could Dillon be back in the Cup Series with RCR? After the announcement that Kyle Busch was going to drive the No. 8 team in 2023, the initial plan was to have a third chartered team for Tyler Reddick to drive until he was released from his RCR contract a year early. There is a chance that RCR could expand back to three cars, but Hill would be the likely candidate if that move happened soon.

About the author

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Jared Haas joined the Frontstretch staff in May 2020. During his time at Frontstretch, Jared has grown the Frontstretch YouTube channel from less than 200 subscribers to well over 23,000 subscribers.

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7 Comments
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Christopher

Both Dillon boys need to retire from racing and go into the front office of RCR

John

or just retire

Kevin in SoCal

You don’t have to be that harsh. They could have great careers as XFINITY lifers like Justin Allgaier. They’re just not Cup material.

Christopher

I do not have to be; I choose to be. Ty has never amounted to anything any series other than a field filler with sponsor money. Austin is far more talented, but RC is pushing 80, Mike Dillon is approaching 60. A Dillon could be an asset in running a team. Ty…well there is always the CARS Tour.

Dav_Daddy

Harsh would be saying they both have great potential one day running “CARS Wash” somewhere. Maybe together?

Bill B

You are exactly right. Ty should give up is ill-fated desire to be a race car driver when he grows up and should throw himself 100% into learning how to run the team. He could set himself up very well for the future and be “the man” when poppop steps down. But first he has to come to the realization that he’s only driving a car to feed his ego and that his destiny is not on the track. Both Dillon boys are in their 30s now.

John

With Chandler Smith trying to bail on his contract with Kaulig, it will depend on whether Dillon can bring along enough cash (or discounts on alliance fees) to warrant giving him yet another try. The RCR succession plan is not evident. And I have no idea if either grandkid has any ability to run the business. In my times of dealing with this team, it was still just like DEI was. Dependent on “tribal knowledge”, although I’d hope Andy Petree has advanced the science a lot further. I still see the succession plan as partnering with JRM.

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