WELCOME, N.C. – Team Dillon Racing owner Mike Dillon has decided to cease operations of the dirt late model team at the end of December.
Dillon said he made the decision in order to focus on advancing the careers of his two sons, Ty and Austin Dillon.
“It was a really hard decision to end our tenure with the dirt program,” said Dillon. “Shane (McDowell) and Dale (McDowell) have been like a part of the family for the past several years, and they’ve been instrumental in developing Austin and Ty into the drivers that they are today. Unfortunately, Austin and Ty have such busy NASCAR schedules now that they just don’t have much of an opportunity to race dirt anymore.
“It keeps me busy as well, so we are putting our primary focus into their NASCAR careers. We will still stay involved some in the dirt program, just not to the extent that we’ve been for the past several years.”
With the demise of Team Dillon Racing, Shane McDowell has stepped up to form Shane McDowell Racing. Shane McDowell, brother of former Team Dillon Racing driver Dale McDowell, previously worked as crew chief and shop foreman at Team Dillon Racing.
“Basically, everything will stay the same except the ownership and the changing of the team name,” said Shane McDowell. “Mike Dillon and his entire family have been amazing to Sara and I over the past several years. They’ve given us everything we needed to win. We’ve enjoyed great success together and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”
Shane McDowell Racing will operate in the same shop that Team Dillon Racing has based their operations for the past several seasons.
“Sara and I have purchased all of the equipment, and we will utilize the same shop for the 2017 season,” Shane McDowell said. “We are also blessed to have the full support of our current sponsors and marketing partners moving forward. They are just as excited as we are about what the future may hold.”
Shane McDowell Racing will continue to field dirt late model entries Dale McDowell next year. The team plans to continue to run a similar schedule to what they have the past several years.
In addition, the team will field also field entries for 16-year-old Ahnna Parkhurst.
While Ty and Austin Dillon may not have the opportunity to enter as many dirt events as they have in the past due to their busy NASCAR schedules, the door will still be open to them whenever they would like to return to dirt racing.
“Austin and Ty are like family, they’re two of my closest friends and they will continue to be involved with our program,” said Shane McDowell. “They’ll still drive our cars when their busy schedules allow.