Ty Gibbs takes lead late, holds on to win Xfinity race
Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 30, 2021
By Pete Iacobelli
AP Sports Writer
CONCORD — Ty Gibbs is giving his grandfather plenty to think about.
The 18-year-old grandson of championship car owner Joe Gibbs took the lead with 20 laps left at Charlotte Motor Speedway and held off the field for his second Xfinity Series win of his rookie season on Saturday. If the younger Gibbs keeps this up, Joe Gibbs might not be able to keep the hard-charging young driver out of the NASCAR Cup Series.
“You’re getting me all excited now,” Ty Gibbs said. “I think about a lot of stuff all the time, processing stuff. I definitely think about that.”
It might be a tight squeeze since Joe Gibbs Racing currently fields four teams, all with championship drive in past series champs Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., along with Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell.
Gibbs obviously has something figured out. About five hours after celebrating his Xfinity win, the teenager led all 100 laps to take the ARCA Menards Series race. It was his fourth win in five series starts this season.
“I got to burn out two (cars) in one day,” Gibbs said Saturday night.
Gibbs won the Daytona road course event in February with a late pass through a grassy area. In this Xfinity win, Gibbs overcame a spin at the end of the second stage and kept his patience until the end when he came out on top of a side-by-side duel with NASCAR Cup Series racer Chase Briscoe, who lost control and surrendered the lead to Gibbs.
Gibbs had one final challenge on the last restart but pulled away from the pack when the green flag flew.
“It’s definitely nice to win on an oval, especially so nearby hometown,” Gibbs said.
Reigning Xfinity Series champ Austin Cindric was second, followed by Harrison Burton, Brandon Brown and Tyler Reddick. Briscoe finished sixth. Daniel Hemric led the most laps — 105 of 200 — but has now gone 187 starts in the Cup Series and others without a win.