A major silly season rumor that had been swirling around the garage area for months has finally become concrete.
Germain Racing announced Monday that Ty Dillon will take over the driving duties for the #13 entry in NASCAR’s Premier Series beginning in Daytona in February. Dillon will be replacing Casey Mears, who has driven for Germain in the #13 entry since 2010. Dillon’s older brother Austin has been in the Cup series full-time since 2014, piloting the infamous #3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.
In a press release from Germain Racing, the 24-year-old expressed that he is ready for this opportunity, and expressed thankfulness to Bob Germain, and GEICO.
“I have been preparing for this next step in my career for several years,” Dillon said. “With my experience in the Camping World Truck Series and XFINITY Series, I am ready to drive full-time in the Sprint Cup Series. I want to thank Bob Germain and the entire Germain Racing organization for giving me this opportunity. It will be an honor to represent a brand and sponsor like GEICO which has played such a significant role in the sport for so many years.”
A team spokesperson also confirmed that crew chief Robert “Bootie” Barker will return to the top of the pit box for 2017 to call the shots for Dillon.
Dillon said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that this was a deal that was formed earlier in the year, but the challenge was staying quiet about it to the media.
“The questions kept coming and coming,” Dillon told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “The cool thing is that I knew what I was doing; I just didn’t say anything. It’s kind of like having an awesome secret that you want everyone to know, but you kind of had to hold it back. I guess all good things are worth waiting for. I’m just excited for what’s to come.”
Dillon’s grandfather, Richard Childress, is confident that his grandson will succeed when he enters the Cup series full-time.
“Ty has done an exceptional job for us at RCR in every series he has raced in,” said RCR Chairman and CEO, Richard Childress. “He has won races at each level and competed for championships every year. Ty is a passionate driver and has shown that he is ready for the highest level of stock car racing. I’m proud of him and I am confident he will succeed. I have a lot of respect for Bob Germain and the organization he has built, and I know he and Ty will be successful together. I also look forward to Ty’s continued involvement in RCR’s XFINITY Series program.”
Dillon, while he has spent the last 3 seasons battling for a NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship, spent some time on the Cup side. Dillon drove for RCR in 7 starts between 2014 and 2015, and had 11 Cup starts among 3 teams – Circle Sport – Leavine Family Racing, Tommy Baldwin Racing, and Stewart-Haas Racing. His best finish is 14th at Michigan in 2014.
Dillon will battle fellow young gun Erik Jones of Furniture Row Racing for the 2017 Sunoco Racing Rookie of the Year Honors. The season begins in Daytona Beach on February 18th.