Ty Gibbs wins wild Daytona Road Course race in Xfinity debut
Ty Gibbs made a stunning debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, holding off the reigning series champion to win on the Daytona Road Course.
Gibbs, the 18-year-old grandson of Joe Gibbs Racing owner Joe Gibbs, went from fourth to second in Turn 1 at the start of the second overtime and then cleared leader Jeb Burton for the lead.
Gibbs then had to hold off road-racing ace Austin Cindric, last year’s Xfinity champion, over the last lap but came away with his first NASCAR national series victory.
“I just can’t thank everybody right now. This is like a dream come true to me. I really didn’t think I had it there and we fought back and won.
“Family is everything. They do so much for me. This is just amazing. I’m sorry I’m a wreck, I didn’t think this was going to happen at all. Last week I had a terrible interview and I just want to apologize to everybody.”
Gibbs becomes the third youngest winner in series history behind Joey Logano and Chase Elliott. He joins Dale Earnhardt (1982), Joe Ruttman (1982), Ricky Rudd (1983), Terry Labonte (1985) and Kurt Busch (2006) to win in their Xfinity Series debut.
Gibbs is competing fulltime in the ARCA Menards Series this season and running a partial Xfinity schedule in JGR’s No. 54 Toyota.
Cindric ended up second, Daniel Hemric was third, Brandon Jones fourth and Jeb Burton rounded out the top-five.
Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, most of the lead-lap card pit for fuel and tires with Hemric the first off pit road. Brandon Jones got in the back of Myatt Snider as cars bunched up on the exit of pit road.
On the restart on Lap 35, Gray Gaulding, who stayed out, led the way followed by Hemric, Harrison Burton, Gibbs and Cindric.
Hemric quickly powered around Gaulding in Turn 1 to take the lead and Cindric moved to third.
While exiting the infield course on Lap 36, Cindric worked his way around Hemric to reclaim the lead as Gibbs moved into third.
With 15 laps to go, Cindric remained out front but was once again being challenged by Gibbs. Hemric was third, Harrison Burton fourth and Justin Haley fifth.
On Lap 38, NASCAR displayed a caution for Jade Buford, who got off course in Turn 5 but quickly got running again.
A handful of cars pit but Cindric and most of the lead-lap cars stayed on the track and he led the way on the restart on Lap 41.
With 10 to go, Gibbs had closed to Cindric’s bumper and was challenging him again for the lead. Hemric ran third and Haley fourth.
With five laps remaining, Cindric pushed his lead to 1.3-seconds over Gibbs as Harrison Burton ran third, 4.6 seconds behind the leader.
Bayley Currey had a tire go down with three laps remaining but was able to continue without the need of a caution.
On Lap 50, Preston Pardus came to a stop on the track and appeared to have dropped debris on the track. The top cars elected to pit but nine cars stayed out with Ryan Sieg taking over the lead on the start of overtime.
Sieg was followed by Snider, Jeb Burton, Jones, Andy Lally, Brett Moffitt, Stephen Leicht, Gaulding, Kyle Weatherman and Justin Haley. Cindric restarted 11th and Gibbs 12th.
Jeb Burton grabbed the lead as multiple cars wrecked in Turn 3 which brought another caution and sent the race into a second overtime.
Jeb Burton led the way on the start of the second overtime, followed by Jones, Lally, Gibbs and Cindric.
Gibbs, making his first series start, easily held off teammate Harrison Burton to take the Stage 2 win – the first stage victory of his series career.
Hemric was third, Haley fourth and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top-five. Cindric had worked his way back to finish sixth.
Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, several cars elected to pit – including Cindric who suffered damage on last lap of Stsage 1 – but Harrison Burton stayed out to inherit the lead.
On the restart on Lap 19, Harrison led the way followed by Allgaier and Gibbs.
With 10 laps to go in the stage, Gibbs got around Harrison Burton while exiting the infield course and took the lead for the first time in the race.
With five laps remaining in the stage, Gibbs held almost a 1-second lead over Harrison Burton and Cindric had made his way back up to ninth after a prolonged stop for repairs.
Both Moffitt and Miquel Paludo had flat tires and were forced to make green-flag pit stops near the end of the stage.
With two laps to go, Gibbs had built a 1.6-second lead over Harrison Burton with Hemric having moved into third.
A.J. Allmendinger tried blocking Cindric’s pass for the lead coming the end of Stage 1 and ended up getting wrecked before the start/finish line.
“It’s on me,” Allmendinger said over his team radio. His No. 16 Chevrolet had no oil pressure and it appeared his race was over. Riley Herbst was also collected in the incident.
Jeremy Clements finished third, Lally was fourth and Brandon Brown rounded out the top-five.
Moffitt started on the pole but Cindric quickly powered to the lead through Turn 1 and the entrance to the infield.
By the start of Lap 2, Allmendinger had moved around Moffitt to take over second place.
NASCAR displayed a caution on Lap 4 for fluid through the center of the backstretch chicane. The fluid came from the No. 23 of Natalie Decker, which had received damage from a run-in with Matt Mills.
Cindric remained in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 7.
With five laps remaining in the stage, Cindric maintained a small but steady lead over Allmendinger. Moffitt was third and Harrison Burton fourth.
Allmendinger finally made his way around Cindric on Lap 11 but a caution was displayed as Ryan Vargas’ came to a stop on the end of pit road.
The race returned to green on Lap 14 with Allmendinger out front followed by Cindric, Snider and Herbst.
The No. 18 Toyota of Hemric failed pre-race inspection three times and had to start the race from the rear of the field. His team also lost pit selection for next weekend’s race at Homestead, Fla.
Noah Gragson could not get his No. 9 Chevrolet to start and was still sitting on pit road when the race began. He eventually rejoined the field three laps down, made it back to the lead lap and then got wrecked on the second overtime restart.
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