CONCORD, N.C. – After spending this season bouncing from ride to ride, Ty Dillon now has a home in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Dillon is joining GMS Racing’s fledgling NASCAR Cup Series program next season to pilot the No. 94 Chevrolet Camaro. He will make his debut with the team on Monday and Tuesday during the NASCAR Next Gen test on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.
“We’re definitely excited. This has been a long time coming for GMS and (team owner) Maury Gallagher and myself,” said GMS Racing President Mike Beam. “The timing is right to do this. There’s a lot of things that went into this decision as far as going Cup racing. It wasn’t a hard decision with Ty. Ty’s been out for a year and I know how hungry he is.”
The 29-year-old Dillon has 166 NASCAR Cup Series starts under his belt, but was left without a ride at the end of the 2020 season when Germain Racing closed its doors. He’s made starts in the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series this year with a variety of teams, but hasn’t raced on a consistent basis.
That changes next season thanks to his new agreement with GMS Racing.
“Over the last year it’s been pretty tough not knowing when the next race is going to be or if the next race is going to be my last,” said Dillon, who captured the 2011 ARCA Menards Series championship in addition to wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during his career. “I just had good faith that if I’m supposed to be in this sport then the right opportunity was going to come. Man, I feel so great about this chance to work with Mike and Maury and their great team at GMS.”
The move to the NASCAR Cup Series for GMS Racing, which was announced earlier this year, also comes with a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing. Dillon’s grandfather, Richard Childress, owns Richard Childress Racing.
“I think a week ago I signed a technical alliance with them,” Beam said of Richard Childress Racing. “We weighed our options. RC (Richard Childress), he’s getting heavily involved. He’s really embraced this new car.”
The car number, No. 94, has a personal connection to Beam. He previously worked for Bill Elliott Racing, helping lead that team in the 1990s and early 2000s. The original Bill Elliott Racing shop is part of the current GMS Racing campus.
“Of course the number means a lot to me because of Bill Elliott and what he did for me,” Beam said. “There’s reasons, just personally between Bill Elliott of course and one guy I don’t know if anybody remembers, Banjo Matthews, a chassis builder who was a good friend of mine and taught me a lot. And Casey Elliott, Bill’s nephew who was a special young man to me and my wife when we were in Dawsonville, he passed away.
“Sterling (Marlin) ran that number and Terry (Labonte). I’ll say this, we can probably run enough throwbacks at Darlington for the rest of Ty’s career.”
Beam confirmed the team has not yet acquired a charter, but he believes they’ll have an agreement reached on one in the near future. He said if they don’t acquire one, the team will run as an open team at NASCAR’s top level.
“I’ve done a lot of things in my career as far as negotiating stuff and that has been a challenge, I’ll tell you that,” Beam said of his efforts to secure a charter for GMS Racing. “That’s probably been the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do in my life.”
The team plans to announce sponsors and a crew chief at a later date.