By Jerry Jordan, Editor
Ty Gibbs started the Xfinity Series Verizon 150 in second place and was still in the Top 5 after 20 laps into the race. Then, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver fell back, rallied and on Lap 44, was busted for a commitment line violation sending him to the back of the pack. However, Gibbs would not be held back and drove the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota back to eighth. It was an up and down day for the Xfinity Series sophomore turned Cup Series freshman but it’s behind him.
“We had a fast Monster Energy Toyota GR Supra,” Gibbs said. “I just made some mistakes that didn’t help us out. It’s just frustrating and something I shouldn’t be doing.”
Now, he can focus on what’s ahead – the Verizon 200 Cup Series race. Gibbs will again sub for the injured Kurt Busch in the 23XI Racing No. 45 car. The move came last-minute a week ago at Pocono Raceway when Busch suffered from concussion-like symptoms after backing his racecar into the wall. Basically, Gibbs got thrown into the car so quickly that he had to borrow Denny Hamlin’s shoes and Busch’s fire suit. He went out and finished a very respectable 16th in his first Cup Series outing.
This week, with Busch back at the shop helping from afar, Gibbs will go out on the track after spending time in the Toyota simulator earlier this week.
“It definitely was a little but nice to have time in the sim this week,” Gibbs said. “I feel like I did a lot of work for that, and I got on the data side.”
Although Gibbs said he would like to race “as many as I can” in the Cup Series, he said his primary focus is on getting good finishes while subbing for Busch. He said he doesn’t have a timeline and is just focused on running well.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity that I have and I am going to try and get the best finish I can and work as hard as I can,” Gibbs said.
He added that he isn’t worried about speculation that he could replace Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota at the end of the season, nor is he devoting a lot of time to hypothetical scenarios.
“I feel like I don’t want to waste my time on those thoughts because it’s not going to help my racecar go faster,” Gibbs said. “It’s only going to take my focus away from the racecar.”
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