Ty Dillon and Eric Jones race on the track.

As Silly Season swings, Petty GMS drivers Dillon, Jones headed in opposite directions

LOUDON, NH – What week is it.

The silly season saw a seismic jolt on Tuesday, with Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick announcing on a 23XI Racing video conference call that he would be joining the Toyota-backed organization as a full-time driver starting in 2024.

Given that Reddick is locked with RCR for 2023, he secured his first Cup Series win earlier this month and gave the organization his best shot at taking home its first championship since Dale Earnhardt’s seventh title in 1994. done, the news probably came as a surprise to everyone outside the small group of people who negotiated the 26-year-old’s future deal.

As if that wasn’t enough, as teams were getting ready for race weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon, Ty Dillon dropped a bombshell on Twitter with a statement that – after just 19 races together – he and Patty GMS “Mutually agreed to go our separate ways” at the conclusion of 2022.

The two-car Thong GMS outfit appears to be an emerging one, building a solid foundation with a pair of talented former prospects looking to re-establish themselves as a Cup Series presence. The announcement of Dylan’s sudden departure was almost as surprising as that of Reddick.

Related: T. Dillon, Thong to split GMS | Silly Season Roundup

“A lot of things have happened this week,” Dillon said. “Obviously I’m focused on doing my best 42 this year, and proving to people that I can win races in the Cup Series and that I’m one of the best 36 drivers in the Series, from what I know. But I’m a free agent, which is always exciting, you know, and it’s just a bridge to the next opportunity that I’m looking forward to taking advantage of, and I’m going to enjoy that. You You know, it’s been a tough week dealing with all the news about leaving, but from here on out, I have to focus on what to do next. And knowing that I’m not coming back, Leaving it all on the line, it’s kind of for free and that’s all I have every weekend. And you know, I think it’s only going to be the best for me, and I’ll be there for them in the future. I wish you the best.”

Dylan chose not to reveal any details of the split, “that’s probably a question for (Petty GMS),” and Jones noted its full extent not being secret – “I don’t know all the insider information. It’s there. Obviously, there’s probably some commercial stuff in there”—but wait a minute. Maybe there’s no acrimony. Perhaps for Dylan’s future, suddenly and unexpectedly, a different scenario presented itself.

Reddick’s move means the number 8 car will be available for 2024 if RCR keeps two cars. The team’s second car is driven by Ty’s brother Austin Dillon. The team is owned, of course, by Childress – Ty and Austin’s grandfather. it almost feels very Perfect for a scenario to line up Tye to replace Reddick a year and a half from now, perhaps throwing him in an Xfinity car to bridge the gap year with the team. But it’s a possibility that the 30-year-old Welcome, North Carolina, native certainly has entertained.

“Obviously, I’ve always wanted to race for my grandfather ever since I started racing,” said Dillon, currently 27th. “So it’s definitely something that I’m looking at. But you know, there’s still a lot of stuff that happens throughout the year. And there’s a lot going on with that situation. But I’m available. I’m there for everybody. I’m available. So we’ll see what happens.”

In part, it has always seemed inevitable that Childress will eventually field Cup Cars for her grandson, it just hasn’t played out that way for various reasons. It could open the door to making this a reality, and if it does, Dylan would have had one of the toughest, winding paths for a competitive premiere series ride in recent memory.

Austin’s trajectory was extremely straight, starting his full-time NASCAR career with RCR in 2010 at the Camping World Truck Series, winning the title the following year, a similar two-year stint in the Xfinity Series – with another title in 2013 – before 2014. Staying in No. 3 east of Earnhardt, where he’s been from. Ty was essentially on the same path with two seasons at Trucks and three at Xfinity level before making his full-time debut in the Cup with Germain Racing in 2017, where he was until 2020 before the team closed its doors. After Ryan Newman left the team in 2018, there was speculation that Tye would replace him, but Tye was chosen to stay with Jermaine and the car – which was then No. 31 Chevrolet – went to Daniel Heimrich instead, Who eventually handed it over to Radic. year.

Ty Dillon’s last two years saw a somewhat fruitless start with cup startup Gauntlet Brothers Racing, 12 Xfinity split into four separate teams with only three top 10s and now one of what seemed on the outside. Early ending, a good long-home stint for him with “The King” and Maura Gallagher’s operation.

“It certainly isn’t easy (keeping up my determination), but I find that as you grow and you mature, situations come into your life,” Dillon told NASCAR.com. “At the end of the day, you have your family and the people who matter most and they believe in you. And if you don’t believe in yourself in the beginning, you’ll never give yourself the full chance.” So I’ll never give up on myself knowing that I can do it. I’ve proved to myself that I can do it. It’s just a matter of situations coming together. And I think one thing about it And it’s our family motto with my wife and kids, it’s that we’re Dylan and we don’t quit, so I can’t show him any step in my life. And whatever I do in my life. I can use what happens, whatever comes and goes as an example to live by in the future.”

As Dillon’s outlook is at its best at the moment, Jones indicated on Saturday that he may announce a long-speculative extension with Petty GMS in the near term. The Byron, Michigan, native negotiated her deal with Gallagher over FaceTime earlier this week — while in the “Great Lakes State” for her grandfather’s 90th birthday — and says the paperwork is just “finally here.” very small details”. days” and “for next year at least, and hopefully more in the future.”

Ty Dillon and Eric Jones race on the track.

Ty Dillon and Eric Jones race on the track.

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Jones appears to have found an ease with Petty GMS, with the option to talk to the other teams at the moment, but is saying he’s not really interested in doing so and instead wants everything to expand on his own. Will solve it together The feeling must be mutual, as the Chevy organization is seeking her feedback on who will be her future mate, even if that decision is still far from over.

“Not me, right now (who will be in 42),” Jones said. “You know, obviously, these conversations go on a little bit. And, you know, as we’ve made this decision, you know, I get asked who I think (it should be) is right a little bit. , which I appreciate, you know, that they try to confide in me pick someone, that’s still up to them at the end of the day. But obviously, there are a few names out there, you know, Probably deserves a shot in the Cup series. I don’t think it will be a boy in the Cup series (at present).”

What’s next for Dylan, well, he still has plans to finish the season with Petty GMS. But in the meantime, he said “negotiations are starting” with other teams. There is no question that he still believes in himself and his ability, it is just a matter of time whether there is a team that wants to take a flight on him.

“I still have a lot of years left, we have 17 races or so to show what I can do,” he said. “And a lot of things will still happen with other seats and other rides and sports in general. So like I said, I’m a free agent, and I can talk to whoever and I am available. So we’ll see thats how it plays.

“I’m definitely never giving up on my dream. And that’s winning cup races and championships, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to put myself in that position with that team.” Really believes in me and wants to give me a good shot.

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