In just a few short seasons, Ty Gibbs went from winning in the periphery of the stock car world to becoming one of the most polarizing characters in the NASCAR garage. On this week’s episode of The Dale Jr. Download, Ty joins Dale Earnhardt Jr. and co-host Mike Davis in the Bojangles Studio to discuss his meteoric rise to becoming a focal point in motorsports.
Gibbs stunned onlookers when he won the February 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series event at the Daytona Road Course, in what was his first attempt in the division. After starting deep in the pack on a late restart, Gibbs put on a driving display that saw him pass several cars and even drive through the grass to take the point, holding off accomplished road racer Austin Cindric in the process. The victory would make history, as it made Gibbs the first driver in the modern NASCAR era to win a national series event in his first attempt.
While Ty has come off as soft-spoken in many of his public interviews, he gives The Download listeners a rare look into his home life, filling Dale and Mike in about his siblings and new townhouse. After Kurt Busch’s recent hard crash at Pocono, Ty received the call to fill in at the last moment, minutes after finishing second in the Saturday afternoon Xfinity event. He explained that to best prepare for the challenge of driving a car he had zero experience in, he retreated home to run laps on his sim racing setup and sleep in his own bed before returning to Pocono early the next morning for the Cup race.
The interview covers Ty’s early years in racing, from competing in shifter karts at venues like the GoPro Motorplex to running late model stock cars on the prestigious CARS tour. He recalls the moment he knew he wanted to pursue a career in racing came after his grandfather Joe, whom he affectionately refers to as “Coach”, took him and his cousin to test a go-kart at Millbridge Speedway. When Mike asked if he has ever struggled with getting acclimated to any type of race vehicle, Ty explained the challenge in transitioning from karts to late models and how it took a couple of years to get comfortable. At one point, he was racing his kart full-time while testing a late model at Hickory Speedway during the week.
Dale and Ty dig into the challenge of dealing with the public perception of coming from an established racing family. Ty gave some insight into how he tunes out the criticism he faces, finding that focusing on his love for motorsports keeps him motivated to move forward. Many young racers are forced to grow up in the public eye, and Gibbs talks about his ongoing maturation in dealing with conflicts both on the track and off.
Ty’s future has been a hot topic of discussion as he continues to find success in the Xfinity Series and now filling in at 23XI Racing in Kurt Busch’s absence. He explains he ultimately wants to race in many different types of cars, mirroring the career path of Kyle Larson, whom he looks up to in many regards. They also discuss the future of Joe Gibbs Racing and what roles Ty may see himself in as the years roll on.
This year in the Xfinity Series, one of the main storylines to watch has been JR Motorsports versus Ty Gibbs. And while usually, you’d never invite your competition into your very race shop, Dale Jr. recognizes that Ty is going to be a part of motorsports for many years to come and is choosing to embrace him.
Before Ty joins the show, Dale, Mike, Alex and Hannah discuss:
New Kyle Petty shirts available on the DirtyMoMedia.com
Dale’s play-by-play commentary at Michigan
Bubba Wallace’s passionate post-race interview
The modified race opener at North Wilkesboro
ASKJR presented by Xfinity
This week the fans asked about:
The future’s perspective on today’s NASCAR world
Dale’s most prized vintage t-shirt
Applying Mike Joy’s commentary advice
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