Ty Dillon to attempt Daytona 500 for Gaunt Brothers Racing

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Ty Dillon will attempt to qualify for his seventh Daytona 500 next month for Gaunt Brothers Racing.

GBR announced Tuesday that Dillon will drive its No. 96 Toyota with sponsorship from Bass Pro Shops and Black Rifle Coffee Company, as he seeks to make this year’s running of “The Great American Race.” The team does not have a charter and is not guaranteed a starting spot in the Daytona 500.

The Associated Press first reported the story.

“Gaunt Brothers Racing has given me a great opportunity to compete in the Daytona 500 and I couldn’t be happier,” Dillon said in a team release. “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.”

GBR will run a brand-new Toyota for Dillon, powered by a Toyota Racing Development-built engine.

Last year, GBR failed to make the Daytona 500 with driver Daniel Suarez. Suarez moved to Justin Marks’ Trackhouse Racing during this off-season.

“The best way to get a good start to your season is to have a good finish in the Daytona 500,” GBR president Marty Gaunt added. “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.”

So far, this is Dillon’s lone announced Cup event for the 2021 season. He competed full-time for the past four years with Germain Racing, which shut down at the conclusion of the 2020 season.

Dillon is still seeking his first win at the Cup level after 162 starts, but has won in both the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.

He has made 10 career Cup starts on the oval at Daytona, earning a top finish of fourth place in the July 2019 race.