HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – While the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series contingent rolled into the outskirts of Chicago for the Camping World 400 last weekend, 16-year-old Ty Gibbs was back in the Southeast.
The young gun, fresh off his first ARCA Menards Series victory, was getting his head wrapped around a local late model race he was planning to compete at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway.
“Right now I’m at the race track and ready to go racing,” said Gibbs, grandson of legendary NFL football coach Joe Gibbs. “There is a late model stock car race running here this weekend (at South Boston Speedway). It’s not really a scheduled thing. I’m just going to go and get some seat time and to have some fun.”
Gibbs, son of Joe Gibbs Racing mastermind Coy Gibbs, is now front and center in the family racing business. He’s taking part in a racing crash course of ARCA, NASCAR K&N Pro Series, late model and Trans-Am races this year to help him gain experience.
“Yeah, it is really cool to climb into all of these different race cars,” explained Gibbs. “It’s really cool to get to drive a lot of different things from these roadcourses this year and to these big ovals and stuff, it’s good to race different stuff. I’m going to race a little bit of dirt this summer too. It’s pretty fun to try all these different things and even more importantly, to have a lot fun doing it.
“I like the variety of all the races and tracks too,” he added. “You can’t get too caught up in what you’re driving. Like driving the ARCA car on a bigger track, that’s really fun and the car drives really good compared to a late model or going to a dirt track, so you can’t get caught up in it. I love the bigger, faster tracks, but the smaller tracks make you a better driver. I guess I’m focused on a lot of stuff; we’ve got a lot of stuff going on. I mean it is only June and already summer is keeping us very busy with the racing. I think now we’ll go racing for 12 weekends in a row. I’ll be racing every weekend.”
Off to a very respectful start in 2019, Gibbs’ first big time win came at Myrtle Beach Speedway in February when fought off Justin Milliken to win the Icebreaker late model race.
“That was my first win,” said Gibbs. “To go out there and win that race was pretty cool. I didn’t really expect it because it was a really hard track and a totally new car and a different group of people, but going out there and winning that race was definitely a confidence-booster.”
Most recently, Gibbs scored his first ARCA Menards Series win when he bested rival Sam Mayer on the white flag lap to win the Day to Day Coffee 150 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill.
“That was a really big win,” pointed out Gibbs. “It was pretty cool because a lot of people were watching it too and we got a lot of TV time. Yeah, it was pretty cool that it came down to the wire there at the end and we got that last corner pass and won it. It was real cool that I got the race win there. We’ve been knocking on the door the whole year. Sometimes you do what you’ve got to do to win.”
The Gibbs surname is a moniker with a lot of horsepower behind it in these here United States of America. Hall of Fame football coach Joe Gibbs, as well as father Coy Gibbs and late uncle J.D. Gibbs, the Gibbs name is something young Ty Gibbs knows he’ll need to address along the way.
“The name Gibbs, it has its pros and cons, you know? I like it more than anything,” Gibbs said. “I mean, you know that people are always going to hate on you and you have to ignore that in your life and just focus on what you’re doing. I’m thankful that I got born into this great family and to be able to race. I’m the only one in my family who wanted to race, so I got lucky with that too. I really like it. I get a lot of backing and my family supports me a lot too. And my dad Coy, ‘He really likes it. He runs the NASCAR stuff now, so he goes to a lot of my races and he gets to see what happens. He’s like my boss and my dad, so it’s a good deal.”