Over the last few months, Ty Dillon has been rumored as the replacement for A.J. Allmendinger behind the wheel of the No. 16 Chevrolet at Kaulig Racing for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season. When Kaulig Racing confirmed that Allmendinger would indeed be moving back to the Xfinity Series next year, the move was largely viewed as inevitable.
In somewhat of a surprising move, Kaulig Racing have now confirmed that Allmendinger is set to pilot the No. 16 Chevrolet in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
With Allmendinger competing full-time in the Xfinity Series, this confirmation does not mean he will be competing full-time in the Cup Series. In fact, he always figured to be a part of the team's 2024 Cup Series plans in some capacity, so that part of the announcement wasn't exactly a shock.
However, the move does solidify the fact that the No. 16 Chevrolet is set to be a shared entry throughout the 36-race 2024 season.
Ty Dillon not competing full-time for Kaulig Racing in 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season?
Dillon, who lost his ride with Spire Motorsports to rookie Carson Hocevar after just one season, could still end up competing for Kaulig Racing throughout the 2024 season, but even if he does, he will probably not do so as a full-time driver unless Kaulig Racing add a non-chartered entry for him for the Daytona 500 (and potentially whatever other races Allmendinger -- or somebody else -- runs).
Allmendinger is expected to compete in several other races, presumably some of the road course races, throughout the 2024 season. Whether he drives the No. 16 Chevrolet or a third entry remains to be seen. No other part-time drivers have been confirmed for Kaulig Racing.
Allmendinger is responsible for both of Kaulig Racing's Cup Series victories, having won at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course as a part-time driver in 2021 and at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval as a full-time driver in 2023.
Dillon could also technically still compete full-time next year if he competes for multiple teams, though the only other team with a chartered entry open is Rick Ware Racing. All 34 of the other chartered entries already have confirmed full-time drivers.
Daniel Hemric is set to compete full-time for Kaulig Racing behind the wheel of the No. 31 Chevrolet in 2024, having been called up after two years with the organization's Xfinity Series team to replace the Rick Ware Racing-bound Justin Haley.