• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Countdown to the Clash: Ty Dillon fights to stay in the Cup Series

ByBrenden Martin

Jan 30, 2023
Ty Dillon walks onstage

Photo courtesy of Sean Gardner | Getty Images

Ty Dillon has had a wild ride during his racing career that has seen him come in and out of NASCAR. After a season with Petty GMS in the No. 42 car (now called LEGACY Motor Club), Dillon will move on to yet another team, Spire Motorsports in the No. 77 car.

Spire Motorsports brings in Dillon to team up with No. 7 driver Corey LaJoie, making this the first time the team has two full-time drivers.

The No. 77 car has been occupied by a handful of drivers over the past few years. Justin Haley, now in the No. 31 car for Kaulig Racing, spent his first full Cup season with Spire. Last season, Landon Cassill and Josh Bilicki split time in the car.

Dillon, brother of Richard Childress Racing No. 3 driver Austin Dillon, had a tough 2022 season in the No. 42 car. Finishing 29th in points, Dillon had an average finish of 22.56 and only led two laps all season. His lone top-10 finish of the year was in the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway where he finished 10th.

He has amassed seven career top-10 finishes in the Cup Series in his career. Dillon had three top 10s in 2019 with Germain Racing, all of which came at either Daytona International Speedway or Talladega Superspeedway.

Dillon struggled especially when compared to his Petty GMS teammate, No. 43 driver Erik Jones, who outperformed expectations with a win in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

When Petty GMS announced Dillon would not return to the team in 2023, much speculation sparked on where the veteran driver would land. Many talks centered around him returning to the NASCAR Xfinity Series where he ran a few races after the announcement.

Dillon ran two races for JD Motorsports at Road America (37th) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course (20th). He also ran for Our Motorsports at Darlington (35th).

His best Xfinity Series run came with Big Machine Racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (6th). Big Machine Racing was a team looking for a full-time driver in 2023, but opted to sign Parker Kligerman for the No. 48 car.

Dillon will run some select Xfinity races in 2023 for RCR in the No. 3 car, starting with Darlington with Ferris as a sponsor. Dillon ran in the No. 3 car for RCR in Xfinity races from 2014 to 2018.

While Dillon would have certainly had competitive suitors at lower levels in NASCAR, he said during Championship Weekend at Phoenix Raceway that staying in the Cup Series was his priority.

Dillon will have his work cut out for him in 2023 as he looks to do whatever it takes to keep his spot in the Cup Series.