Ty Dillon has been reported as the favorite to land the second Cup Series seat at Kaulig Racing. Count Dale Earnhardt Jr. in as another media member to say that. Except this time, he said on his podcast, the “Dale Jr. Download”, that Dillon is confirmed going to run that second Kaulig Racing Cup Series car in 2024, but he is not optimistic about where the team is heading.
Daniel Hemric is coming back into the Cup Series with Kaulig. Ty Dillon’s going over there to run the second car, and so, those cars struggled so badly at Phoenix. It was not good. I think this is going to be a very difficult year on the Cup side for Kaulig…I don’t know that is a big surprise to anybody.Dale Earnhardt Jr.
How True is This?
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not a reporter, but he is a member of the media. He also has more relationships in the garage than potentially anyone in the media. If anyone knows something, it is him, and he is far from the first one to report that Dillon is the favorite.
Bob Pockrass reported that Dillon was the favorite to land the ride at Kaulig Racing in October. This is not a new thing, and, if it is really happening, Dale Earnhardt Jr. would be the one to know about it. Still, there is no official announcement yet, so, this is not an official confirmation.
Will 2024 Truly be a Struggle for Kaulig Racing?
Objectively, it is hard to get excited about Ty Dillon joining Kaulig Racing given his performance in the Cup Series. He finished 32nd in points in 2023, which was the worst out of all full-time Cup Series drivers. He has only 7 career top-10 finishes in 238 career starts and no wins or poles.
Daniel Hemric is an Xfinity Series Champion, but that Championship Race at Phoenix is the only race Hemric has won in his career at any NASCAR National Touring Series level. He also failed to win a race with Kaulig in the Xfinity Series in 2023, but he did make the Playoffs. On top of that, his lone Cup Series season with RCR was less than stellar.
These drivers replace Justin Haley, who nearly won the Chicago Street Race this year, and A.J. Allmendinger, who is a threat to win any road course race on the schedule. With this move, Allmendinger will likely move down to Xfinity, and that takes away Kaulig’s potentially best shot at a win and qualifying for the Cup Series Playoffs.
Given their equipment, it likely will be a struggle for them in 2024. However, sometimes hitting on a crew chief/driver combo or finding something in the offseason could turn a team around. Anything could happen, but, Kaulig will have to overcome some obstacles in 2024.