NASCAR: Surprising name continuously linked to new seat

Ty Dillon, Spire Motorsports, NASCAR Cup Series (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, Spire Motorsports, NASCAR Cup Series (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

After a career-worst season in 2023, Ty Dillon continues to be mentioned as the favorite to replace A.J. Allmendinger at Kaulig Racing in the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.

When it was announced that Ty Dillon would not be back with Spire Motorsports for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season amid a 2023 season in which he was handily beaten by teammate Corey LaJoie, it marked the fourth time in four seasons that Dillon lost his ride.

In 2020 and 2021, his two teams, Germain Racing and Gaunt Brothers Racing, respectively, folded after the seasons ended. But after the 2022 season, he lost his ride for the same reason he lost his ride after the 2023 season: lack of performance. In 2022, he was handily beaten by teammate Erik Jones at Petty GMS Motorsports (now Legacy Motor Club).

This past season, Dillon finished in last place among full-time drivers in the point standings, and by a wide margin. He did not record a single top 10 finish and finished in the top 20 on just five occasions.

But with A.J. Allmendinger likely to be moved back to Kaulig Racing’s NASCAR Xfinity Series team, Ty Dillon is viewed as the favorite to replace him.

In fact, it seems that the only thing left to make the deal official is a confirmation from the team.

Allmendinger earned Kaulig Racing their first ever Cup Series victory in 2021 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, and in his first full season with the team in 2023, he won at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

However, it is clear that his upside is relatively limited in the Cup Series at this point in his career with Kaulig Racing not being a top-tier team, and as he demonstrated in 2021 and 2022, a full-time ride in the Xfinity Series gives him a much better opportunity to “trophy hunt” — and perhaps win a championship.

With Daniel Hemric having already been called up to replace the Rick Ware Racing-bound Justin Haley, plus Chandler Smith having departed after just one season, presumably to join Joe Gibbs Racing, there is an obvious need for talent on Kaulig Racing’s Xfinity Series team in 2024. Only former DGM Racing driver Josh Williams is under contract with the organization thus far.

What is still quite baffling is the fact that Dillon is viewed as the best option to drive the No. 16 Chevrolet in the Cup Series. But the expectation remains that he will indeed be confirmed as Allmendinger’s replacement in due time.

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

Looking ahead, could he potentially lose his ride for the fifth straight season after 2024, or will he capitalize on what could very well be his best opportunity yet?