Categories crunchfx

No NASCAR Cup win yet, but Ty Gibbs is ‘right there’

The 21-year-old grandson of NASCAR and NFL Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs stepped onto the NASCAR national series scene with a victory in his first Xfinity Series race of the 2021 season, and he went on to win 10 races and the ARCA Menards Series championship that same year.

He notched seven more Xfinity wins and the series championship in 2022. Gibbs moves to the Cup Series full-time in 2023.

His first trip to Victory Lane in Cup didn’t come as quickly, but his transition from rookie season to sophomore season was impressive.

Last weekend, Gibbs was one of the few drivers able to keep pace with three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen before retiring. Gibbs led 17 of the 54-lap dark-shortened race and finished third.

Gibbs’ weekend at the Chicago Street Course — where he finished third in the Xfinity race — was a powerful reminder that his first Cup victory could come at any time.

“We had a really good weekend. I’m grateful to have two great race cars that my team brought to me,” he said. “It’s rare that you can have two good cars and still get good speed.

“I feel like we were really fast in both races. We were just really close, really close both days. All I can ask for is a win, but we’re right there.”

Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing, Monster Energy Toyota Camry

Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing, Monster Energy Toyota Camry

Photo: Rusty Jarrett/NKP/Motorsport Images

Sunday’s race was no easy task as, for the second weekend in a row, the Cup series raced on both slick and wet tyres, significantly changing race dynamics and strategies.

“Honestly, I think of it as kind of like a dirt track. You pick your lines and see which lane is drying and faster and you have to look around — that makes it fun because we don’t get to do that a lot,” Gibbs said.

“I really enjoy it. I think it takes a lot of race awareness to do it, and it’s fun just to look at it. You’re like, ‘OK, that line is setting up,’ and you get to that line and you’re like, ‘Oh, I was two car lengths ahead of the guy in front of me.’

“It’s really fun to experience this.”

Even without the win, Gibbs remains one of the few drivers in good position to make the Cup playoffs based on points.

In playoff position but still no win

With six races remaining in the playoffs, Gibbs and his No. 54 Toyota team sit ninth in the series standings, with teammate Martin Truex Jr. the only driver without a win who is ranked higher in the points (fifth).

Gibbs finished his rookie season ranked 18th in the series with four top-fives and 10 top-10 finishes and led 112 laps. This year, he already has five top-fives and nine top-10 finishes — including a second-place finish at Darlington — and led 328 laps.

Sunday’s race at Pocono Racecourse is another opportunity for Gibbs to either defend his first playoff berth with a strong performance or get his first career win.

He finished second in both Xfinity Series races at Pocono on the 2.5-mile triangular track and fifth in his final Cup series race last season.

“It’s been really fun running the Cup Series and I’ve had a great time, and I’m grateful for what I’ve been able to do and thankful for what I’ve been able to do,” Gibbs said. “It’s been fun.”

Also Read: