Ty Gibbs, grandson of Joe Gibbs, wins Xfinity debut
By Bob Pockrass
FOX Sports NASCAR Reporter
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Joe Gibbs knew his grandson was a pretty good race car driver.
He might not have known just how good he was, however, until Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway.
Ty Gibbs, son of Coy Gibbs and grandson of the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach of the Washington Football Team, won in his first career NASCAR national series start, capturing the Xfinity Series race Saturday on the Daytona International Speedway road course.
"This is such an experience for us," said Joe Gibbs, who is a NASCAR Hall of Famer as a team owner. "I’ve been blessed – there have been things I have enjoyed so much, but he had not made a lap in the car [before].
"I was just worried about him making laps. We didn’t dream of him being up front like that. ... I was shaking like a leaf. It’s just a rare experience. I’m so thankful."
Gibbs darted from fifth to first in the first few turns of a two-lap overtime dash to the finish on the 3.61-mile course. Once out front, he sped away from Austin Cindric, who finished second.
The young driver has shown considerable potential. He won six races in the developmental ARCA Series last year and had a second-place finish on the Daytona road course.
"I have really no words," Ty Gibbs said. "I’m worn out and have a ton of emotions going through me. I’m a train wreck right now. ... I thought I was going to come out here and just log laps and get a decent finish."
When Gibbs made his winning move, he plowed through the grass going into the infield, making his grandfather and team owner quite nervous.
"We already had cars that were torn up getting in the grass," Joe Gibbs said. "And when he went through there, I went, ‘Oh that is probably going to do it.’"
The plan is for Ty Gibbs to drive 10 Xfinity races this year while running a full ARCA schedule. He became the sixth driver to win in his first Xfinity start and the first to do so before ever running in the NASCAR Cup Series.
With his race team in its 30th season, Joe Gibbs has won 185 Cup races and five Cup championships, as well as 174 Xfinity races and two driver championships.
"It’s great when you see people achieve things, particularly on our race team and everything, but then you look, and it’s your grandson," Joe Gibbs said.
"Everybody knows the experience and thrill that we have when our kids do things that are special. Every parent, every grandparent knows what I’m talking about."
For nearly 20 years, the team was led by J.D. Gibbs, Joe’s son and Ty’s uncle who died in 2019 after a lengthy battle with a degenerative neurological disease.
"After my uncle passed away, it’s been hard for me," Ty Gibbs said. "It’s just a dream come true."
Actually, for his grandfather, dreaming never even entered into the picture.
"It’s hard to put in words, really," Joe Gibbs said. "I was just emotionally kind of thrilled. ... I don’t think you even dream something could happen like this."
Bob Pockrass has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s. He joined FOX Sports in 2019 following stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @bobpockrass.