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Sprint Cup Series


Ty Dillon to drive No. 13 Germain Racing Chevy in 2017

Germain Racing announced Monday that Ty Dillon will jump full-time into NASCAR's premier series next season, taking the reins of its No. 13 Chevrolet.


Dillon replaces Casey Mears, who had driven the No. 13 GEICO-sponsored entry since the second half of the 2010 season. The 24-year-old Dillon has made 18 Sprint Cup starts over the last three years, including a relief stint for the injured Tony Stewart during the early stages of last season.


In a Monday morning appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR's Radio's "The Morning Drive" program, Dillon indicated that an agreement with Germain Racing came together earlier in the year. The challenge, he said, was staying mum until this week.


"The questions kept coming and coming," Dillon told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "The cool thing is that I knew what I was doing; I just didn't say anything. It's kind of like having an awesome secret that you want everyone to know, but you kind of had to hold it back. I guess all good things are worth waiting for. I'm just excited for what's to come."

A team spokesperson confirmed Monday that Robert "Bootie" Barker would return as the team's crew chief in 2017. GEICO returns as primary sponsor, extending a relationship that bridged Germain Racing's transition to a full-time Sprint Cup team in 2009.


The Germain team shares a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing, the multicar organization founded by Dillon's grandfather, and its entries are powered by Childress-owned ECR Engines. Dillon said that the existing partnerships should help smooth his own transition to a full slate of racing in NASCAR's premier series.


"I think it's just going to help us all work a little bit closer," Dillon told SiriusXM. "Everything is just going to be working hopefully a little bit better between RCR, and everybody just wants to keep growing at Germain Racing and that's what I'm excited for. Everyone's got a positive attitude to move forward. I'm looking forward to growing as a driver and also growing with this team. …


"It's not just making it to the Cup Series for me and Germain Racing. We want to go win races and we want to go win championships. But this is a great start in putting our foot in that direction."


Dillon has four NASCAR national series victories and has finished among the top five in each of his full-time campaigns in the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. Dillon also indicated that he would remain involved in RCR's XFINITY Series program next year; the North Carolina native has competed full-time on that tour the last three seasons.


"I plan on running the XFINITY Series, too," Dillon said, "so hopefully you'll be seeing a lot of me on Saturdays and Sundays and getting as much racing in as possible."


Mears hinted last month at Talladega Superspeedway that his plans with the Germain organization beyond 2016 were uncertain. He has one victory -- the 2007 Coca-Cola 600 for Hendrick Motorsports -- in 488 career starts in NASCAR's top division.


Team owner Bob Germain thanked Mears for his tenure, saying "he's been an integral part of our growth and a great representative for GEICO and our many partners."


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