Sunday, January 29, 2023

Joe’s grandson Ty Gibbs wins Xfinity Series debut at Daytona Road Course

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Ty Gibbs made his historic NASCAR Xfinity Series debut on Saturday night as the 18-year-old won his first series start, preventing defending champion Austin Cindric from the Daytona International Speedway Road Course.

Gibbs took the lead in a double-overtime restart and held off the field by a comfortable 1.726 seconds at the finish line, falling to his knees to reflect after getting out of his # 54 Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing – a car owned by his grandfather. , NASCAR Hall of Fame Joe Gibbs.

With his victory in the 188 Super Start Batteries at Daytona Presented by O’Reilly, Gibbs becomes only the sixth driver to win his first series start, tying a feat achieved by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt in 1982 and more recently , Kurt Busch 15 years ago.

Gibbs also becomes the youngest driver to win a NASCAR Xfinity Series road racing event. At 18, 4 months, 16 days, he broke the record held by Cindric (20).

AFTER: Starting line-up for the Cup Series on Road Course

In all respects, it was a touching victory after an intense and thrilling race on the road course of 14 turns and 3.61 miles. Cindric led the most laps – 29 of 56 – but failed to catch Gibbs in the end.

“I just can’t thank everyone for the moment, it’s really like a dream come true for me, it’s just awesome,” said young Gibbs, who drove his first laps and has made his first pit stop in his career on Saturday night.

“I really didn’t think I had him there,” he said of the intense race at the end. “I fought back and we won.”

Gibbs teammates Daniel Hemric and Brandon Jones finished third and fourth, followed by Jeb Burton and fellow JGR family member Harrison Burton. Miguel Paludo, Brandon Brown, Justin Haley and Jeremy Clements round out the top 10.

A win for Cindric would have been his second in as many races in 2021 and he turned to the front to fight for the win. He and AJ Allmendinger – another road racing star – collided as they ran first and second towards the checkered flag of Stage 1. Allmendinger’s car was badly damaged and he was damaged. completed laps for the remainder of the race.

Cindric’s # 22 Penske Ford team was also damaged, but the team made repairs and Cindric got to work. He returned to the race after several pit stops in 33rd place, but still in the lead. His road racing skills and team strategy calls ultimately put him in a position to fight for victory.

“Obviously, I don’t want to race at a stadium that aggressively, I would love to see a replay and hope we can avoid something like that because obviously AJ and I were going to fight for a win later. “Cindric said.

“I hated having so much damage to our PPG Ford Mustang so soon. It just seemed like he was trying to block out there, I don’t know if he knew I was there or not. Sucks it’s over and we got a good finish. Congratulations to Ty. “

Joe Gibbs came down from the pit and stood behind to watch the final moments of the race. Clearly, Ty’s victory was an emotional achievement for the whole family.

During a late pit stop, the teenager was asking his team for peanut butter crackers. An hour later, he hoists the biggest trophy of his young career.

“I don’t even know how to feel,” he says. “It’s really hard for me to explain. After my uncle [JGR president JD Gibbs] passed away, it was hard for me. It’s just a dream come true. I’m just rambling. I’m excited. Mixed emotions for sure. It’s just awesome. ”

From his close-knit family, Gibbs wiped away tears again.

“Family is everything to me, they do so much for me,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough, it’s just amazing; it’s a dream come true. It’s all the man above, I’m sorry I’m a wreck, I didn’t think that was going to happen This is great I can’t thank everyone enough for watching and last week I had a terrible interview. I want to apologize to everyone I can’t thank everyone enough .

Holly Cain writes for the NASCAR Wire Service.


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