Ty Dillon deserved a better opportunity than he first had upon entering NASCAR. While his older brother, Austin Dillon, was given the iconic No. 3 to drive, Ty was relegated to the satellite Germain Racing team. With fewer resources, there were still times when he outperformed the Richard Childress Racing teams through sheer willpower.
By benefit of his talent, Dillon should be ranked much higher than 28th – but there are two big unknowns for 2022. The first is that the No. 94 will be the first foray by GMS Racing into the Cup series. The second is that they do not have a charter and with practice and qualification returning to NASCAR in 2022, there is the possibility that some weekends will have more than 40 entries.
Dillon ran a handful of races last year in the No. 96, mostly on road courses. His single top-20 finish came on the Daytona road course, but he also finished on the lead lap at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) and Road America. He was 21st and 26th respectively in those races and finished 26th on the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track.
On those courses, he has as much experience as anyone else in the field.
Dillon did not race on the carburetor-restricted superspeedways because Brendan Gaughan had the wheel for those events, but that will be another strong course type for the team in 2022. Both of his career top-fives and all but one of seven top-10s came there, including an uncredited sixth in the 2016 Geico 500 in relief of an injured Tony Stewart.
Dillon's other top-10 was earned at Las Vegas in 2020, which was his most recent full time season.
One of the things that has us excited about Dillon is his consistency and ability to take care of his equipment. He is not as aggressive as Austin and that can keep him from capitalizing on every opportunity, but he's failed to finish because of crash damage only 10 times in 167 races.
With 31 top-15s (18.6 percent of the time) and results of 22nd or better in 90 races (53.9%), fantasy gamers can feel confident that he won't lose much. Finding a good betting line might be a little more challenging. Most books only go as far as top-10s and we suspect those will be few.
If the No. 94 team earns some early top-15s, however, and their top-10 line hovers around the +900 mark, you are going to want to give him some serious consideration in the next few races. If he hits at that level four or five times, he will support a weekly wager.
Three Best Tracks *
Talladega (11.3 in 9 attempts)
Phoenix (18.9 in 10)
New Hampshire (19.8 in 5)
Three Worst Tracks *
Sonoma (29.3 in 3)
Homestead (26.0 in 6)
Charlotte (25.5 in 6)
Victories: None (Best finish: 19th, Daytona road)
Top-fives: 0 (.000)
Top-10s: 0 (.000)
Top-15s: 0 (.000)
Top-20s: 1 (.250)
2021 Finishes at or above rank = 4 (100.0%)
* Active tracks with three or more starts