Austin Dillon, a three-time NASCAR Cup Series race winner in Richard Childress Racing’s iconic No. 3 car, and 2013 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, will return to NASCAR Xfinity Series competition this week at Circuit of the Americas as he attempts to make the field in the Bassett Racing No. 77 entry, TobyChristie.com has learned.
In attempting to make the field for the race, the 31-year old will join Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer, AJ Allmendinger and Kevin Harvick as drivers who will officially attempt to run double duty at COTA.
Dillon’s No. 77 machine will feature sponsorship from Maestro’s Beard Wash and Beard Butter.
According to Bassett Racing, Nathan Kennedy, the team’s in-house crew chief, will be calling the shots for Dillon and the No. 77 team in Austin, Texas.
“Ronnie Bassett Jr. , Dillon Bassett, Code and our crew chief Nathan Kennedy will be calling the shots,” team owner Ronnie Bassett Jr. said to TobyChristie.com on Sunday. “[They’re] the same guys that have been with us. We’re just hoping for a good run there and Charlotte and see how close we can get to the top-40 in points. It’s going to be a long shot but we are going to do our best.”
Dillon Bassett will be called on to drive for the team in the next race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The Bassett No. 77 team attempted to make the field for the NASCAR Xfinity Series season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway, but rain at qualifying time washed out their hopes of making the race. Subsequently, the rained out qualifying session also scrubbed any chance the Bassett team had at running until COTA.
Heading into Circuit of the Americas, the Bassett Racing team faces a 53-point deficit to the No. 13 MBM Motorsports team for the 40th-place spot in the owner standings.
Of course, COTA is a new track to NASCAR, which has led to NASCAR Cup Series drivers attempting to find ways to log extra laps before the Cup Series takes the track next Sunday. Ronnie Bassett Sr. explained to TobyChristie.com that the deal with Dillon started coming together six to seven weeks ago.
“Mike Dillon contacted me probably six-seven weeks ago and asked what our plans were for [COTA] and I told him we were going,” Bassett detailed to TobyChristie.com. “He said he would like to put a deal together for Austin, being it’s a new track for everyone. So, we put [a deal] together and we’re going. I think he will do a good job for us and the guys have worked really hard to build him a car.”
Austin Dillon, who has nine-career wins in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, last competed in the series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2019.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of the Americas can be seen on FS1 at 4:00 PM ET on Saturday, May 22nd.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.