UPDATE 3: Gaunt Brothers Racing has named Ty Dillon as its driver for the 63rd running of the Daytona 500 Feb. 14 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
The 28-year-old from Lewisville, North Carolina, will make his 163rd career NASCAR Cup Series start upon qualifying for The Great American Race. Dillon will drive the No. 96 Bass Pro Shops/Black Rifle Coffee Company Toyota Camry, marking his first point-paying start behind the wheel of a Toyota.
“Gaunt Brothers Racing has given me a great opportunity to compete in the Daytona 500 and I couldn’t be happier,” Dillon said. “I love superspeedway races and the Daytona 500 is the biggest of them all. Toyota has certainly proven itself in our sport and in the Daytona 500. I’m looking forward to racing with them and reuniting with Bass Pro Shops and Black Rifle Coffee Company.”
Gaunt Brothers Racing has put particular emphasis on its superspeedway program in 2021. The team will unload a brand-new Toyota Camry for Dillon at Daytona with an engine built by Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A. (TRD).
“The best way to get a good start to your season is to have a good finish in the Daytona 500,” said Marty Gaunt, president, Gaunt Brothers Racing. “We’ve got a talented driver in Ty Dillon with a strong TRD engine plugged into the best equipment available. Together with Toyota, Bass Pro Shops and Black Rifle Coffee Company, we’re ready to compete and surprise some people.”
Bass Pro Shops is a longtime supporter of Dillon. North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company was with Dillon for his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win in July 2014 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and his three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories – August 2012 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, June 2013 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, and November 2013 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
“In addition to Ty’s competitive spirit and lifelong passion for racing, his love of fishing, hunting and the great outdoors makes him a great ambassador for Bass Pro Shops,” said noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. “We know Ty lives for moments like the Daytona 500 just like we do, and we couldn’t be more excited for him to represent Bass Pro Shops in the biggest race of the year.”
Black Rifle Coffee Company is a premium, roast-to-order, veteran-owned coffee company that gives back to veterans in every cup. Founded by Evan Hafer, a Green Beret who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Black Rifle Coffee Company has quickly established itself as a strong brand with a growing community of loyal fans thanks to its delicious coffee and commitment to supporting veterans, law enforcement and first responders. The 2021 season marks its second year as a sponsor in NASCAR.
Dillon is the 2011 ARCA Menards Series champion. He has 10 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Daytona with three top-10 finishes, including a fourth-place drive in the 2019 Coke Zero Sugar 400
The Daytona 500 starts at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb., 14 with live coverage on FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
— Gaunt Brothers Racing —
UPDATE 2: Ty Dillon landed a Daytona 500 ride with Gaunt Brothers Racing, a pairing of a driver and team both trying to rebuild in 2021.
Dillon spent four seasons driving for Germain Racing but lost his ride when lack of sponsorship led the team to close. Gaunt Brothers last year ran its first full Cup season but struggled in part because COVID-19 protocols wiped out almost all practice, qualifying and testing.
Bass Pro Shops and Black Rifle Coffee Company will sponsor the No. 96 Toyota as Dillon attempts to qualify for NASCAR’s Feb. 14 opener at Daytona International Speedway. It’s the only race Dillon has announced for 2021, but he’s eligible for the Busch Clash and could land the 23XI Racing seat for the exhibition event on Daytona’s road course.
— Associated Press —
UPDATE 1-15-2021: Ty Dillon is in the process of finalizing a deal to run at least the first two races of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season with Gaunt Brothers Racing, Motorsport.com has learned.
Once the deal is complete, Dillon would attempt to run the season-opening Daytona 500 and the race on the Daytona Road Course the following weekend in the No. 96 Toyota, multiple sources confirmed.
— Motorsport —
ORIGINAL POST: The only driver to compete full-time in the Cup Series in 2020 to not announce plans for this season is Ty Dillon. He was left without a ride when GEICO decided to not renew sponsorship with Germain Racing and the team shut down.
Rumors on his plans have been limited and inconsistent, but he may be nearing a deal, based on reports by Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass and Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern.
Ty Dillon is in the mix to potentially drive the races for Gaunt Brothers. Also some chatter that he could run the Busch Clash for 23XI Racing (he's eligible because he won a stage). Both Gaunt/23XI told me this week when I inquired that they had nothing to announce. https://t.co/hlz6pnZ8Gz
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) January 15, 2021
.@TyDillon is working on putting together a partial schedule for the 2021 NASCAR season, per people familiar.
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) January 14, 2021