By Cole Cusumano
In gauging the talent rising through NASCAR’s rankings, it’s difficult to find a driver with more promise than Ty Gibbs. Son of Coy and grandson of Joe, the 18-year-old is “obsessed” with racing, and the dedication shows. Analyzing Phoenix Raceway specifically, the young driver has seemingly mastered the art of getting around the one-mile track, and this was solidified after a dominant performance in General Tire 150 in the ARCA Menards Series.
Gibbs put his No. 18 in victory lane for the second time in Arizona after leading a career-high 124 laps. In four starts, the Toyota Racing Development driver has two wins, a career-average finish of 1.75 and paced the field for 361 circuits.
To say Gibbs has a handle on Phoenix would be an understatement. But what is it about the diamond in the desert that makes him so successful?
“I feel like [Phoenix] puts on great racing and I just love this track,” Gibbs told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “I don’t think any other track is like this or above this.I feel like this is a driver’s track, because you can run different lines, you can run in PJ1 — I ran all the way on the bottom of Turn 1 — you can run everywhere.
“That’s what makes this track really fun for me.”
Following a wicked burnout that left rubber melted on the racing surface, Gibbs couldn’t help but feel unfulfilled during his celebration. In the back of his mind he knew there was unfinished business with him slated to pull double duty in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in under 24 hours.
Gibbs should be riding high following this onslaught performance like any 18-year-old would. After all, he’s formulated a two-race win streak between the ARCA event and his Xfinity Series debut at the Daytona International Speedway road course.
But this isn’t your average teenager. Instead, Gibbs showcased a composed and mature demeanor when looking at the bigger picture.
“This is where you’ve got to stay put in your seat,” Gibbs said. “I don’t believe in confidence. I don’t believe in feelings until after the job is done — after the mission is complete. My mindset right now is focused on [Xfinity], making sure I go and jot down my notes, and making sure I’m ready to kill tomorrow.
“I’ve got a big day ahead of me, so I’m just focused on that right now and, at this moment, the job’s not done yet”
Aiming to keep his streak alive and stats bolstered, Gibbs will have his work cut out for him starting 27th in the Call 811 Before You Dig 200. He hasn’t finished lower than third in his career at Phoenix Raceway, so he’ll be put to the test in his first attempt at an oval in the Xfinity Series.