NASCAR: Another driver change confirmed for 2023

Ty Dillon, Petty GMS Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, Petty GMS Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

Ty Dillon will not be back behind the wheel of the #42 Chevrolet for Petty GMS Motorsports in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season.

NASCAR Cup Series silly season has been loaded with interesting speculation and rumors, yet there haven’t been all that many changes announced for 2023.

In fact, the only true driver change that had been announced for next year was announced before the 2022 season even began, when Aric Almirola announced that he would be retiring at the end of the year, thus leaving the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford with a vacant seat. Interestingly enough, recent rumors suggest that this change may not even happen.

Other than that, Chase Elliott and William Byron have both re-signed with Hendrick Motorsports, while Martin Truex Jr. has re-signed with Joe Gibbs Racing and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has re-signed with JTG Daugherty Racing. There is also a “100% chance” that Daniel Suarez re-signs with Trackhouse Racing Team.

But on Friday, a driver change was finally announced.

Ty Dillon will not be returning for what would have been a second year with Petty GMS Motorsports in the 2023 season.

Dillon, who was out of the Cup Series last year after Germain Racing shut down following the 2020 season, was to have driven the #94 Chevrolet for GMS Racing this year before Maury Gallagher Jr.’s team merged with Richard Petty Motorsports to form Petty GMS Motorsports.

Instead, the 30-year-old Welcome, North Carolina native has driven the #42 Chevrolet alongside Erik Jones, who joined Richard Petty Motorsports ahead of the 2021 season, in the #43 Chevrolet.

Dillon is a driver whom many have been watching in terms of next year’s lineup, as he has long been considered on the hot seat.

Jones sits 10 spots and 137 points ahead of him in the standings through the first 19 races of the 36-race season, and with six times as many top 10 finishes. Jones has bettered Dillon’s best finish (10th place) on five occasions already.

It has not yet been confirmed who Dillon’s replacement will be behind the wheel of the #42 Chevrolet next year, but Noah Gragson has emerged as the favorite.

Gragson is currently in his fourth season competing full-time in the Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports, and he also competes part-time in the Cup Series for Kaulig Racing.

Meanwhile, Jones himself remains in a contract year, and while he has long stated that he feels that he and Petty GMS Motorsports are in a good place, the success he has had this season should result in a number of other teams giving him a second look before he makes a final decision.

Next. Which car will Tyler Reddick drive?. dark

Interestingly, Dillon’s impending departure reportedly does not have anything to do with the fact that the #8 Chevrolet at his grandfather’s team, Richard Childress Racing, is to be vacated by Tyler Reddick following the 2023 season when he leaves for 23XI Racing. Ty’s brother, Austin, competes behind the wheel of Richard Childress’s #3 Chevrolet and has done so since 2014.