Ty Gibbs won the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship less than 365 days ago.
Shortly after that, Gibbs received the keys to a nice, shiny new car in the NASCAR Cup Series.
However, as most rookies in the Cup Series do, Gibbs has ran his fair share of Xfinity races this season, the most recent being this past weekend at Watkins Glen International.
The Golden Gibbs Boy led most of the race, but things got interesting as a gas-and-go pit stop forced him into fifth with a few laps to go.
Gibbs had to fight his way back up front in his rocket ship of a car, which proved to be no trouble. However, he touched up Sam Mayer in the No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevy en route to doing so. Mayer paid him back with two laps to go by placing a bumper in his rear quarter panel and took home the win as a result just a few laps later.
It was a textbook Gibbs move, except now the shoe was on the other foot. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen these two get silly with it, though, is it? I present to you Martinsville, circa 2022.
Gibbs gained a reputation in the series for doing whatever it takes to win, at one point even dumping his own teammate to win a race that truthfully had no long-term benefits to him at all and might have actually saved Brandon Jones‘ job at Joe Gibbs Racing if we really wanted to think about it.
There are still plenty of drivers in the Xfinity Series that Gibbs burned, though. We only named two. With that being said, is it possible that some of those wounds Gibbs opened up during his first full-time campaign are still quite fresh? Saturday might have pointed to that being true, but the beef between Gibbs and Mayer goes all the way back to the ARCA Menards Series days.
Who else, then, is there to be mad at Gibbs you might ask? The entire field, basically, including Richard Childress Racing’s own Austin Hill. Take yourself back to Nashville Superspeedway earlier this year and allow me to present to you a series on the duality of man in motorsports.
It’s safe to say there’s still no love lost between Gibbs and at least a few parties within the regular Xfinity ranks. That leads me to the final question: is it smart for Gibbs to be running Xfinity as much as he is?
Plainly put, no matter how you slice it, the answer is still yes.
Gibbs is still only 20 years old, so any track time at this stage is a good thing. Yes, the cars drive completely differently, and yes, it’s more dangerous than only running the one Cup race each weekend, but if Gibbs is supposed to carry his grandfather’s team where it needs to go, he’s going to have to start winning more races at the highest level, and you can’t do that without as much seat time as possible.
Gibbs still has a long road ahead of him as far as reaching his full potential goes, but one thing is for sure: it’s going to be fun watching him try and get to the end of it no matter what.
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