Gaunt Brothers Racing will keep Ty Dillon in its No. 96 Toyota Camry for the NASCAR Cup Series’ second race of the 2021 season when drivers turn left and right Feb. 21 on the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway road course.
Dillon is already slated to compete for Gaunt Brothers Racing in the 63rd Daytona 500 on Feb. 14. The 28-year-old from Lewisville, North Carolina, will make his 163rd career NASCAR Cup Series start upon qualifying the No. 96 Bass Pro Shops/Black Rifle Coffee Company Toyota Camry for The Great American Race.
The Daytona road-course race will be Dillon’s 11th career NASCAR Cup Series start on a road course.
“I really enjoy the challenge of road-course racing and I’m glad that I’ll be competing at the Daytona road course for Gaunt Brothers Racing,” Dillon said. “Ever since we announced that I’d be driving for them in the Daytona 500, I’ve been immersed with the team and Toyota. To be able to extend this relationship another week allows us to continue to feed off one another and apply all that we’re learning into on-track performance.”
Gaunt Brothers Racing plans to enter each road-course race this season, and the 14-turn, 3.61-mile layout at Daytona marks the first of a ground-breaking seven road-course races on the 2021 schedule.
“It’s important for us to get a good start to the season and one of the ways we aim to achieve that is with consistency. Having Ty with us for back-to-back races gives us the opportunity to build on our learnings from one week to the next and apply them at the road course,” said Marty Gaunt, president, Gaunt Brothers Racing. “It’s obviously different disciplines going from a superspeedway to a road course, but the communication is the same. Ty brings youthful experience to our team and we want to maximize our time with him.”
From 1988 to 2017, there were only two road courses on the schedule – Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway and Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. The Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval was added in 2018, giving the series just three road-course venues. The initial 2021 schedule doubled that tally, with Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course all being added. And when COVID-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of the series’ stop at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, the Daytona road course was put in its place.
The Daytona 500 starts at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb., 14. The Feb. 21 road-course race at Daytona starts at 3 p.m. ET. FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will provide live coverage of both races.