Ty Dillon’s deal with Gaunt Brothers Racing has been extended to include a second NASCAR Cup Series race, the second race of the 2021 season at the Daytona International Speedway road course, scheduled for Feb. 21. Dillon is already slated to drive GBR’s #96 Toyota in the season-opening Daytona 500 on Sunday.
“It’s important for us to get a good start to the season and one of the ways we aim to achieve that is with consistency,” GBR President Marty Gaunt said. “Having Ty with us for back-to-back races gives us the opportunity to build on our learnings from one week to the next and apply them at the road course. It’s, obviously, different disciplines going from a superspeedway to a road course, but the communication is the same. Ty brings youthful experience to our team and we want to maximize our time with him.”
Dillon doesn’t have a full-time seat in any of NASCAR’s national series this season after losing his ride in the #13 Germain Racing Chevrolet at the end of the 2020 Cup Series season because of that team’s closure. He drove the #13 full-time between 2017 and 2020. In 162-career Cup Series starts, Dillon has two top-fives and six top-10 race finishes.
Dillon does, however, have a deal with Joe Gibbs Racing for a partial 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule from behind the wheel of its #54 Toyota.
Gaunt Brothers Racing, meanwhile, is scaling back to a part-time schedule in 2021 after running full-time with Daniel Suarez as driver in 2020. The team is focusing its 2021 efforts on road courses and superspeedway races. The team hasn’t announced a lineup of drivers for races beyond the first two events of the season, but Gaunt has confirmed that Dillon is being considered for additional races.
“I really enjoy the challenge of road-course racing and I’m glad that I’ll be competing at the Daytona road course for Gaunt Brothers Racing,” Dillon said. “Ever since we announced that I’d be driving for them in the Daytona 500, I’ve been immersed with the team and Toyota. To be able to extend this relationship another week allows us to continue to feed off one another and apply all that we’re learning into on-track performance.”