A unique milestone is in the making for Ty Dillon entering this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader races at Dover International Speedway on August 22 and 23. By the time Dillon completes both Cup races at Dover, he will reach and surpass 150 starts in NASCAR’s premier series.
A native from Lewisville, North Carolina, the grandson of championship team owner Richard Childress and the younger brother of the 2018 Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon was already a rising star in NASCAR, having won the 2011 ARCA championship, three Truck Series career races, the 2012 Truck Rookie-of-the-Year title and his first Xfinity Series career victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he made his Cup debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in August 2014. Driving the No. 33 Realtree/Rheem Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing and led by the late Nick Harrison, Dillon started 29th and finished 25th in his series debut. He competed in one additional Cup race at Phoenix in November, where he finished 27th, before he went on to conclude his first full-time stint in the Xfinity Series in fifth place in the final standings and as the Rookie-of-the-Year winner.
The following season, Dillon qualified for his first Daytona 500 start in February after finishing 16th in the first Duel qualifying race at Daytona and earning a final transfer spot to the main event. Starting 31st, Dillon finished 28th in his first 500 attempt. He competed in four additional Cup races throughout the 2015 season while he competed on a full-time basis in the Xfinity Series for RCR. His best result during his four-race Cup span was a 14th-place result at Michigan International Speedway in June. He went on to conclude the 2015 Xfinity Series season in a career-best third place in the final standings.
In 2016, Dillon returned as a full-time Xfinity Series for RCR and a part-time Cup Series competitor for two organizations. His first start of the season was the Daytona 500, where he finished 25th while driving the No. 95 Cheerios/Kroger Chevrolet for Leavine Family Racing. The following race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Dillon served as an interim competitor for three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, who was recovering from injuries from a dune buggy accident in January and was able to compete in the opening races of the 2016 season. Driving the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing in three races, Dillon recorded finishes of 17th, 15th and 25th at Atlanta, Phoenix and at Bristol. He also relieved for Stewart for the remainder of the Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in May, where he finished sixth despite the points being awarded to Stewart since Stewart started the race. He also made six additional starts in Leavine Family Racing’s No. 95 Chevrolet. His best results were 20th-place at Texas in April and 21st at Pocono in June.
Following three full-time seasons in the Xfinity Series, Dillon was promoted to the Cup Series in 2017 and as driver of the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet for Germain Racing led by crew chief Robert “Bootie” Barker. In Dillon’s first full-time season in the Cup Series as a rookie candidate, he recorded eight top-15 results, 40 laps led and an average result of 20.7 as he concluded the season in 24th place in the final standings, third place in the rookie standings behind Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez. His best results throughout the season were a pair of 11th-place results at Talladega in October and at Phoenix in November.
In 2018, Dillon remained with Germain Racing and was paired with veteran crew chief Matt Borland. In July at Daytona International Speedway, Dillon achieved his first top-10 career result in the Cup Series after finishing in sixth place. Throughout his sophomore season in the Cup circuit, Dillon recorded four additional top-15 results. When the season concluded, his average result was 24.1 and he concluded the season in 27th place in the final standings.
Dillon started the 2019 Cup season by finishing in sixth place in the Daytona 500 in February. After finishing no higher than 15th over the next six races, he finished 15th at Bristol in April after winning the first stage in a photo finish over Clint Bowyer. Two races later, at Talladega in April 2019, Dillon made his 100th Cup career start. During the main event, he won the first stage and finished in 17th place. In July at Daytona International Speedway, he achieved his first top-five career finish (fourth place) in a rain-shortened event. For the remainder of the season, Dillon achieved one additional top-10 result and four additional top-15 results before he concluded the season in 24th place in the final standings. He earned an average result of 20.6 and led 14 laps throughout his junior season in the Cup Series.
This season, through the first 23 Cup races, Dillon has achieved one top-10 result, five top-15 results and an average result of 22.3. He is in 27th place in the regular-season standings and is 235 points below the top-16 cutline to make this year’s Cup Playoffs with three regular-season races remaining.
Catch Dillon’s milestone start at Dover International Speedway on August 22 at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN.