NASCAR driver loses ride for fourth straight season

Ty Dillon, Spire Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, Spire Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Ty Dillon has been with four NASCAR Cup Series teams in the last four seasons, and he will not be with team number four again next year.

On Tuesday, Spire Motorsports and Carson Hocevar made the long-awaited confirmation that the latter is set to drive the No. 77 Chevrolet full-time during the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, replacing Ty Dillon after just one year.

The confirmation means that Spire Motorsports are indeed set to go from two to three full-time drivers next year, just one year removed from their first season with two.

Corey LaJoie is set to return as the full-time driver of the No. 7 Chevrolet for the third straight season, while it was recently announced that Zane Smith, who is being loaned out by Trackhouse Racing Team after signing a multi-year contract with the Justin Marks and Pitbull-owned organization, is set to drive a third entry.

Spire Motorsports purchased a third charter from Live Fast Motorsports to make the Trackhouse/Smith deal happen.

But despite Spire Motorsports’ expansion from two to three cars for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, there is still no room for Ty Dillon.

As a result, the 2023 season marks the fourth season after which the 31-year-old Welcome, North Carolina native will have lost his ride.

After 2020, he lost his longtime ride with Germain Racing after they sold their charter to the then-new 23XI Racing team and ultimately ceased operations.

Ironically, Dillon ended up being 23XI Racing’s first driver, since Bubba Wallace was not eligible to compete in the preseason Clash. Dillon spent the year competing part-time in the Cup Series for Gaunt Brothers Racing, but they too ceased operations following the 2021 season.

In 2022, Dillon competed for Petty GMS Motorsports after having been lined up to be GMS Racing’s full-time driver in their first year in the Cup Series.

Instead, GMS Racing merged with Richard Petty Motorsports, and the new Petty GMS Motorsports team, now Legacy Motor Club, was a lot more competitive than many expected.

Unfortunately for Dillon, he failed to capitalize on that pace, and teammate Erik Jones beat him in every major statistical category. As a result, it was decided that rookie Noah Gragson would replace him behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet in 2023.

In 2023, Dillon has again fallen well shy of the standard set by his teammate (LaJoie), and unsurprisingly, he won’t be back with Spire Motorsports next year. The announcement of his departure had been expected for quite some time.

All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark. Next

With the 2024 driver lineup slowly coming together, Dillon won’t be back with his team from the previous year for a fourth season in a row. He will likely end up being out of the Cup Series altogether, given how few seats remain available — and the fact that he simply hasn’t been able to extract the most out of his machinery in recent years.