By: Ashley McCubbin
Ty Gibbs has grown a lot of attention by his last name, but that is not the only reason any longer.
Behind the wheel, the 18-year-old has been showcasing his talent and it showed with a dominant performance on Friday night at Phoenix Raceway. While he led the majority of the laps, you cannot say it was a cake walk either. He found himself deep in traffic at times as a result of strategy, but still found his way rather quickly to the front, and faster than those whom had pitted with him for fresh rubber.
Seeing a driver succeed in the ARCA Menards Series can be deceiving sometimes with many people writing off the performances due to chalking it up to being a big team entering a smaller series. However, Gibbs quieted those critics with a victory in his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut last month at Daytona International Speedway.
It would not be shocking to see another strong performance in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race by him, either.
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Beyond Gibbs’ performance, there were a lot of positives to take away from the night of racing. Despite the traction compound not being utilized with the cool temperatures and earlier rain, drivers were able to battle all the way around the one-mile facility, utilizing the dog leg to get runs on each other into turn one. While the top-five were spread out at times, the battle just inside the top-10 was captivating in seeing the competitors utilize the couple lanes available to try and make up ground.
It is the perfect symbolism for what we should see in the series all year long, as well Gibbs was dominant, Corey Heim appears to have enough to keep him honest in running in his tracks – albeit with distance in-between – throughout the event. Combined with his victory at Daytona and knowing Talladega Superspeedway is next on the schedule, the championship is nowhere near decided.
The Eastern half of the squad, though, will still shine brighter than the West as evident by none of their stars, including NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor Derek Kraus and defending West Champion Jesse Love being non-factors throughout.