I think we may have watched history in last night’s Super Start Batteries 188. Ty Gibbs, the grandson of Joe Gibbs won his first Xfinity race in his first Xfinity start, no wait, in his first NASCAR national start. He’s been down in the ARCA series for two years and accumulated seven wins, but he’s never stepped foot in either of the three major NASCAR divisions. This kid has skipped the truck series altogether and found a way to victory lane.
Not only did he win his first start, but he won it at a road course. Ty Gibbs is no road course ringer, all of his wins in ARCA have come on ovals. He’s actually only raced on the DRC one time and netted a second-place finish.
I think the most impressive feat of all was who he had to beat in order to get it done; Austin Cindric, the defending series champion and winner of two RC races last season. Cindric has become the best RC driver in the series and for Gibbs to be able to race him clean and wait patiently for his opportunity, it is an amazing ability for him to show early on. While the end of the race didn’t come down to a duel between the two, Gibbs raced Cindric clean, even when Cindric wasn’t giving him a lot of reason to.
There were many instances where Cindric gave an ill-timed block that should’ve put him in the grass, but Gibbs showed a lot of restraint and kept off his back bumper. Being able to be patient is something a lot of 18-year olds lack, and being able to do it when you’re sniffing history is a whole other thing.
- Dale Earnhardt
- Ricky Rudd
- Terry Labonte
- Joe Rutman
- Kurt Busch
Those are the only names to ever have won their first-ever Xfinity series start. You wanna know the key difference between all those names and Ty Gibbs? Gibbs is the only one to ever do it before running full-time in the Cup series.
Back in the old days, traditional driver development didn’t really exist. Most guys skipped the Xfinity series or it didn’t exist. Ty Gibbs is the first driver to ever win their first Xfinity race without starting a Cup race.
Ty Gibbs’ career is not officially on the radar of every NASCAR fan. The magnifying glass is now on him, let’s see how he holds up under that pressure.
This race could’ve been a lot different if it wasn’t for a boneheaded decision on the part of A.J. Allmendinger. He and Cindric were racing hard at the end of stage 1 and Allmendinger decided at that moment that winning that stage was worth more than winning the race and through a block hard, enough to knock Cindric’s fender off and throw Dinger into the infield.
A silly move that I think resulted in each of them losing the race. Even though Cindric was able to continue on and hold off Gibbs until the final two restarts, he did it with a horrible handling race car. Cindric was impressive in his own right just being able to hold off Gibbs for as long as he did. Had Dinger not decided to go for broke in stage 1, both those cars could’ve been at 100% to challenge Gibbs at the end.