It was announced Monday morning that Ty Dillon will become the driver of the No. 13 Chevrolet for Germain Racing in 2017, running a full-time schedule. Dillon will be replacing Casey Mears, who had been with the team since 2010.
GEICO will remain as the primary sponsor of the car with Dillon and will also stay with Mears, as it has been reported by ESPN’s Bob Pockrass that he will run a handful of XFINITY Series races on a part-time schedule in 2017.
“First of all, I want to thank Casey Mears for everything he’s done for our race team over the past six years,” team owner Bob Germain said in a released statement. “He’s been an integral part of our growth and a great representative for GEICO and our many partners. Bringing Ty onboard is an exciting opportunity for us and we are committed to giving him all the resources he needs to reach his full potential. He’s a very talented driver and first class young man. I’m looking forward to working with him, as well as expanding our relationship with RCR.”
Richard Childress Racing is the larger “parent” team that oversees Germain Racing and provides them with necessary equipment. Dillon has dabbled in Cup since he began in NASCAR. He has made 24 starts in NASCAR’s top series and has a career-best finish of sixth in the No. 14 car while subbing for the injured Tony Stewart (Talladega, 2016).
Dillon, 24, has been full-time in the NXS for three seasons, with a career-best points finish of third in 2015. He finished fifth in 2016 after disappointingly failing to advance out of the first round of the inaugural NXS Chase. Team owner–and Dillon’s grandfather–Richard Childress hinted that Dillon would still be involved in RCR’s XFINITY program moving forward.
“I have been preparing for this next step in my career for several years,” Dillon said in the release. “With my experience in the Camping World Truck Series and XFINITY Series, I am ready to drive full-time in the Sprint Cup Series.”
Dillon has four NASCAR National Series victories, with the most notable coming at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2014. Mears has one Cup victory, coming in the 2007 Coca-Cola 600 for Hendrick Motorsports in 488 starts. His best points finish was 14th in 2006 with Chip Ganassi racing, and he finished 28th this season for Germain Racing in the No. 13 car.
Dillon has driven for Leavine Family/Circle-Sport Racing in the No. 59 and No. 95 cars this season as well as Stewart-Haas Racing. Previously, he made a couple starts in the No. 33 car for Joe Faulk, but was not competitive due to the lack of funding for that team.
The move to Cup for Dillon has been in the works and talked about in the garage for some time. With Paul Menard, Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman being solidified at RCR in Cup, this was the move that made the most sense.
Although he has zero titles in NASCAR’s top three divisions, the Dillon’s have a history and tradition of winning. His brother, Austin, has two titles (one in the Truck Series and one in NXS). Now, they’ll be racing in Cup together.