Ty Gibbs has a long history of making enemies in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The driver who once compared himself to Jesus after wrecking his own teammate spent a large portion of his championship-winning 2022 season bumping, blocking, and spinning other drivers, creating a reputation as a driver that is fast, but far less forgiving than the average driver. That reputation finally caught up to him on track yesterday.
While Gibbs has since graduated to the top-tier Cup Series with his grandfather’s Joe Gibbs Racing, he still makes occasional starts in the second-level Xfinity Series. The younger Gibbs made one of those starts at Watkins Glen yesterday, a race where the reigning champion predictably led early and often. At one point, he defended on that lead by aggressively closing the door on Xfinity Series regular Sam Mayer during a side-by-side battle for position. Mayer did not like that.
As NBC captured, Mayer was told on the radio that he just needed to get Gibbs back in kind. His response was simple: “Ten fucking four.”
On a final restart, Mayer found himself well behind Gibbs heading into turn 1. Seemingly seeing the chance for retaliation, Mayer dove into the corner as aggressively as possible, barreling into Gibbs and sending the leader spinning. Mayer fell to third, but he handled a oily and somewhat unsafe surface well over the final laps and retook the lead in time to take his second career win shortly afterward.
Although Gibbs did not blame Mayer for an intentional wreck, he did bring up the disparity between their career successes in a radio interview afterward. “I’m racing on Sundays and he’s still on Saturdays. He’s not got a championship… He’s got more starts than I do and I’ve got more wins than he does.”
Mayer was not penalized during the race, but NASCAR has begun to suspend drivers for intentional wrecks over the past year and may decide to bring down a post-race penalty after a review. Ty Gibbs will start fourth for today’s Cup Series race at the same track. As Gibbs was quick to note, Mayer is not in that event.