DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WGHP) — After missing the 2021 race, Ty Dillon of Lewisville, North Carolina, is settling into the driver’s seat of the legendary No. 42 cup car with Petty GMS Motorsports.

“Last year was heartbreaking,” he said. “I finished 6th in the qualifying race. I actually lapped the guy who made it into the race but missed out on a technicality. That was heartbreaking. Lots of tears shed between my wife and I.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 06: Ty Dillon, driver of the #42 Black Rifle Coffee Company Chevrolet, races during the last chance qualifying race prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on February 06, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 06: Ty Dillon, driver of the #42 Black Rifle Coffee Company Chevrolet, races during the last chance qualifying race prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on February 06, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Dillon said his time away from the track and being a parent has changed how he’s heading into this next race.

“The younger immature me would put my self-worth in my results,” he said. “Every time I’d come off the track I’d look at the pylon to see where I finished. That was about where my confidence was as a man. It led me to not be where I wanted to be on and off the track.

“I’ve grown a lot, and like I said, last year was big for me to step away and realize what I love about what I do, and it’s more about the work I get to put in, that I have a job every day is something you’re grateful for when you don’t know if you’re going to have it the next day. I’m more mature, more focused in this next step. My faith in Christ and my family has changed me to have such a good perspective”

Dillon will be racing under the Petty GMS Motorsports banner in the No. 42 car. While he was Initially set to drive the No. 94, GMS Racing’s investment with Richard Petty Motorsports led to a decision to honor Lee Petty’s first NASCAR Cup Series start behind the wheel of the No. 42 in 1949 at Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsboro, North Carolina, according to NASCAR.

“It’s such an honor,” Dillon said of driving the 42 car. “I don’t know if people realize the 42 was made famous by Lee Petty Richard’s father. He was the originator of the Petty name, very successful from day one in NASCAR as we know it. I hope to bring honor to his name and number with a modern twist and bring it back to victory lane.”