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NASCAR Xfinity: Ty Gibbs wins in debut

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 20: Ty Gibbs, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates with the checkered flag after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Super Start Batteries 188 At Daytona Presented by O’Reilly at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2021 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Ty Gibbs’ NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the Super Start Batteris 188 on Saturday at the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway rod course produced the best possible result — a race win. He was the sixth driver to win in his Xfinity Series debut, the first before racing in the NASCAR Cup Series.

“I don’t even know how to feel,” Gibbs said. “This is really hard for me to explain. After my uncle (J.D. Gibbs) passed away, it’s been hard for me. It’s just a dream come true. I’m just rambling. I’m excited. Mixed emotions for sure. This is just awesome.” 

Gibbs, who led 14 laps of the race that was scheduled for 52 laps but extended to 56 by two overtime restarts, took his final lead on lap 55. Reigning Series champion Austin Cindric moved into second to challenge Gibbs for the win.

“You know, I can’t thank everybody right now,” Gibbs said. “This is like a dream come true to me. This is awesome, I can’t do burnouts; that’s one thing I cannot do at all. I just can’t thank everybody; this is just a dream come true to me. I really didn’t think I had it, there. Kind of fought back, and we won. Thank you to Monster Energy and everybody. I don’t even know what’s going on.”

Cindric led a race-high 29 laps. he and Gibbs were the only two drivers to post a double-digit tally in the laps-led column. They also were the stage winners, with Cindric winning the first 15-lap stage and Dillon the second.

Cindric started the race on the front row and took the lead from pole sitter Brett Moffitt on the opening lap. He lost the led to A.J. Allmendinger on lap 11, and Cindric and Allmendinger combined to lead all laps of the opening stage. Allmendinger was the leader as the two front-runners approached the green and white checkered flag to end the opening stage, but contact between the two resulted in an Allmendinger wreck and a Cindric stage win.

“I’d love to see a replay,” Cindric said. ”Just, hopefully, we can avoid something like that, because AJ and I were gonna be fighting for a win later today, so I hate to be able to do that much damage to our PPG Ford Mustang that early. It just seemed like he was trying to block, whether if he didn’t know I was there or not. It sucks. It’s over with, but we salvaged a great day out of it. Congratulations to Ty. That’s obviously really cool. Congrats to him and his family. P2, I’ll take it.”

Then, Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Harrison Burton and Gibbs ran first and second throughout the second 15-lap stage. Burton led early in the stage until Gibbs took the led from his teammate on lap 21.

A third JGR driver, Daniel Hemric, got off pit road first during the caution after the second stage. On lap 36, Hemric lost the lead to Cindric, and Gibbs took second a lap later. Cindric and Gibbs ran first and second for most of the remaining laps.

Gibbs challenged Cindric for the lead after lap 40, with Cindric maintaining that lead for most of the laps that remained before the series of overtime restarts.

Hemric finishes third, and JGR driver Brandon Jones was fourth to, along with Gibbs, give car owner Joe Gibbs, Ty Gibbs grandfather, three finishes inside the top-four. Jeb Burton rounded out the top-five.

Harrison Burton was sixth, Miguel Paludo seventh, Brandon Brown eighth, Justin Haley ninth, and Jeremy Clements finished 10th.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the Super Start Batteries 188:

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Posted by on February 21, 2021. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,Xfinity Series. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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