Ty Gibbs may have led more laps than anybody on the ARCA Menards platform last season, but because of his age, the now 18-year-old will make his first start on a superspeedway Saturday in the ARCA Menards Series season-opening Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire at Daytona International Speedway.
And if Friday’s practice times are any indication, the grandson of racing and football legend Joe Gibbs is in for quite a debut at the famed 2.5-mile tri-oval in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Gibbs’ No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota shot to the top of the speed chart late in Friday’s one-hour session with a lap time of 49.323 seconds / 182.471 mph.
Gibbs finished the session 0.004 seconds faster than rookie Andy Jankowiak, who held the top position on the chart for much of the session.
Jankowiak was second fastest at 49.327 seconds / 182.456 mph. Willie Mullins was third quick at 49.336 seconds / 182.423 mph, followed by Thad Moffitt (49.372 seconds / 182.290 mph) in fourth and defending series champion Bret Holmes (49.377 seconds / 182.271 mph).
Venturini Motorsports drivers Corey Heim, Gracie Trotter and Drew Dollar ranked sixth through eighth on Friday’s speed chart, with the fourth VMS driver in Saturday’s field, Derek Griffith, coming in 10th quick.
DGR driver Tanner Gray, Moffitt’s teammate for Saturday’s race, was ninth fastest.
Qualifying for the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire is schedule for 8:30 a.m. ET on Saturday.
The race is scheduled to start that afternoon at 1:30 p.m. ET and broadcast live on FS1.