NASCAR Nationwide driver Ty Dillon is heading back to Atlanta Motor Speedway to try and win again - only this time he’ll be behind the wheel of a Sprint Cup car.
Dillon is going to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Atlanta. Is he ready for the jump from the Nationwide cars to a Sprint Cup Car?
Dillon, the younger brother of Cup series driver Austin Dillon, is more than ready to pilot a Cup car around the 1.5 mile Atlanta track. In fact, it’s something he’s already done as he’s tested there a couple of times during Cup series testing. Granted, testing is not racing, but it does help get him some seat time in a Cup series ride on the track in which he’ll make his first start in the No. 33 Realtree/Rheem Chevrolet SS for Circle Sport Racing.
Making a move to the Cup series is something that the young driver, 22-years-old, seems more than ready for. He’s driven in just about every stock series you can name and even won at Atlanta in 2012 during a Camping World Truck Series race. The opportunity to drive in the premier series in all of stock car racing is one that Dillon said is special.
"It's going to be a pretty special moment when I make those first laps this weekend, one that I won't forget," said Dillon, the 22-year-old, Welcome, N.C. native. "I've been fortunate enough in my racing career to have great opportunities like this one. I'm looking forward to racing the #33 Realtree/Rheem Chevrolet under the lights on Labor Day weekend."
It’s not like Dillon is a rookie in the true sense of the word. He has a ton of seat time in both the Camping World Trucks and Nationwide Series cars. Sure, the Sprint Cup cars are different than the other two vehicles in the top three tiers of NASCAR racing. There’s a difference in everything from the size and weight of the cars, and of course, things such as handling, grip, horsepower, and just about everything else.
Dillon has plenty of seat time in Nationwide cars and the trucks and that does transfer over in many ways. But as stated above, the younger Dillon has some testing time under his belt with the NASCAR testing but he also tested with Furniture Row Racing and was able to practice his brother’s car when Austin became ill during the Texas Motor Speedway race weekend in April.
Besides his three wins in the Truck Series he also won this year in the Nationwide series. Dillon captured the checkered flag at the Lilly Diabetes 250 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He has over 50 top ten finishes in Nationwide cars and the trucks.
Family of Racers
It also helps with experience when you come from a family of racers. I’ve mentioned big brother Austin a couple of times but Ty’s racing roots run much deeper. The two Dillon boys were probably destined to become race car drivers before they were even born!
Their father, Mike Dillon, made starts in all three of NASCAR’s top series over the years and was even thrust into a relieve driver role for Dale Earnhardt Sr. in 1997 when the legendary driver blacked out during the Southern 500 pace laps. Mike Dillon jumped in to finish the race after the car was repaired.
The senior Dillon has a long history with Richard Childress racing and currently serves as the GM for the organization. In addition, the Dillon brother’s grandfather is Richard Childress of RCR.
Add it all up! Dillon has a great combination of seat time in the sport, running third in Nationwide Series points, and a win in the trucks at Atlanta. When you factor in his racing heritage it’s easy to say that he’s probably more than ready to pilot a car in a Sprint Cup Series race and the “ATL” is a great place to start!