Ty Dillon is starting his first season at Spire Motorsports with the Daytona 500. The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season was nowhere near what he wanted, but he is refreshed and ready to capitalize on a new opportunity in 2023.
Dillon spoke to media members at Daytona International Speedway prior to qualifying and provided some comments about his move over to Spire Motorsports. The North Carolina native explained that the 2023 season is all about capitalizing on available opportunities and keeping his mind focused, something that he believes Spire Motorsports will help him accomplish.
“This offseason we had meetings about goals and expectations and we all sat in the same room together, so everything is very clear when you can sit and look eye to eye and say, ‘This is who we are, this is what we want to achieve’ and we’re all on the same page,” Dillon explained. “When that doesn’t come down directly — and in the past that hasn’t come directly in that same form — there creates doubt in confidence and then you start doubting yourself.
“This year honestly has probably been mentally one of my most refreshing. I’m probably the most excited and full of energy to go into a race season than I’ve ever been. Just because the transparency that we operate at Spire already and the belief that they’ve given in me, especially my teammates and my crew chief. So I know they believe in me, I believe in them and I’m really pumped. This has been my best offseason yet and hopefully it transforms into my best season yet.”
Dillon Joins Forces With Another Veteran
There will be multiple factors in play that determine how Dillon’s season progresses. Maximizing opportunities and minimizing mistakes are at the top of the list. His relationship with teammate Corey LaJoie could also play a role.
According to Dillon, there hasn’t been the awkwardness that inevitably arises when joining a new team. He and LaJoie have been friends for several years, and they have spent time working together in the simulator.
Dillon and LaJoie should be able to work together without issues as they pursue the common goal of making Spire Motorsports more competitive. They also have the confidence that they can provide crucial insight based on their past experiences.
“I think I’ve only run two more races than Corey so we both have over 200 race experiences,” Dillon continued. “That’s not something to just shy away from. It’s a lot of experience and people should listen to drivers who have been around this long. Obviously, it takes some talent and skill and you’ve learned something.
“That’s what has been probably my most favorite thing about being at Spire is that they believe in me and they understand that me being in the series isn’t a fluke and being here for 200 races there’s a lot to learn. They’ve given a lot of confidence in myself and Corey as well. We know they believe in us as drivers and that was a major thing for us.”
There Will Be Discouraging Moments
As the Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum showed, there will be discouraging moments for Spire Motorsports. Neither driver made the main event, and LaJoie has acknowledged that short tracks could be a problem for the two-car team.
Dillon also acknowledged that the current optimism will only take the team so far. They also have to be able to rebound after frustrating moments so that they can move forward instead of getting stuck in a rut.
“That’s where the team aspect comes into hand,” Dillon said. Obviously, as a driver, you’re thrust into a leadership role, so there’s a lot that falls on me to stay positive and consistent as a person on and off with my work ethic and my communication. Then there’s going to be times when our crew chief is going to take that role and he’s going to have to pump us up.
“Our guys will lead us in times, too, as a group and keeping us moving. Everyone has to have that same focus so when one of us maybe has a weak day the other is bringing us all up. The whole team has to be on the same page. That’s the key to success.”