NASCAR: Long-rumored driver change finally confirmed

Ty Dillon was linked to Kaulig Racing over the NASCAR Cup Series offseason. Now he is finally set to compete for the team this weekend at Richmond Raceway.

Ty Dillon, NASCAR
Ty Dillon, NASCAR / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

With a lot of the bigger NASCAR silly season moves out of the way, one of the hot rumors of this past offseason pertained to the No. 16 Chevrolet at Kaulig Racing and what that car's future held with A.J. Allmendinger expected to drop back down to a full-time Xfinity Series ride with the organization.

Allmendinger did indeed drop back down to the Xfinity Series, despite winning a race in his lone full season behind the wheel of the No. 16 Chevrolet, but he did not give up his ride entirely.

Ty Dillon had been tipped to take over for Allmendinger, having been replaced by Carson Hocevar behind the wheel of the No. 77 Chevrolet at Spire Motorsports after just one season, despite the fact that Spire Motorsports also added a third car. That seat ultimately went to Zane Smith.

Instead, Matt Kaulig's team opted to do what they did in 2022: have one full-time driver and another full-time car split between a number of drivers. Dillon was not initially one of those drivers, and he ended up signing with Rackley WAR to compete full-time in the Truck Series.

Ty Dillon finally signs with Kaulig Racing

Through the season's first six races, Allmendinger has driven the No. 16 Chevrolet twice, including in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, and Derek Kraus has made the first two starts of his Cup Series career. Josh Williams and Shane van Gisbergen, Allmendinger's full-time teammates in the Xfinity Series, have driven in one race each.

Now Dillon has been confirmed as the car's fifth different driver through the first seven races, and he is set to make his first start of the year in this coming Easter Sunday night's 400-lap Toyota Owners 400 at the four-turn, 0.75-mile (1.207-kilometer) Richmond Raceway.

Dillon is also currently slated to compete in the races at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 14; New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, June 23; Richmond Raceway on Sunday, August 11; and Kansas Speedway on Sunday, September 29.

Williams currently has one more race scheduled behind the wheel of the No. 16 Chevrolet while Kraus has four more and van Gisbergen has seven more, meaning that the confirmation of Dillon for five events leaves the entry without a driver for just 13 of the remaining 30 races on this year's schedule.

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Fox is set to broadcast the Toyota Owners 400 live from Richmond Raceway this Easter Sunday, March 31 beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET. If you have not yet had the chance to begin a free trial of FuboTV, do so now and don't miss it!