There is no doubt that Ty Gibbs is on his way up the racing ladder. The 18-year old grandson of Joe Gibbs already has 11 wins between the ARCA Menards Series and the regional ARCA Series. However, after a fourth-place finish in the 2021 season-opening race at Daytona, Gibbs was left seething about the ARCA superspeedway package and the rule enforcement — or lack-there-of — from ARCA officials in the race.
“It’s just frustrating,” Gibbs lamented. “And the way this package is, you can’t really push. And you can’t really get to the bumper.”
Gibbs was frustrated, as was just about everyone watching the race, as drivers were not able to pull out and pass at all in the closing 10-15 laps of the race. The front pack stayed in a single file line until a caution in the closing couple of laps caused a one-lap restart to end things.
There’s no other way to put it than to say there was less than thrilling action up at the front in the closing laps.
Escalating Gibbs’ frustration was the fact that Drew Dollar played the perfect teammate for Corey Heim, as he allowed Heim to move down in front of him on the final lap restart for the win. Dollar then pushed Heim for all he was worth as the two set sail and Heim cruised to the checkered flag.
Gibbs says letting someone else win, as he felt Dollar did, isn’t racing.
“It’s just frustrating to come out here and run fourth when you don’t even have a shot to win. Especially if you let your buddy in,” Gibbs explained. “I feel like, if I did that, I wouldn’t even want to be out here. Letting people just win the race. Just completely gave it away there.”
The youngster then questioned why others are allowed to lock bumpers in ARCA, but he isn’t?
“You’re not allowed to lock bumpers, and they did,” Gibbs said of Dollar and Heim. “And then we got penalized 18 laps later the other night. So, it’s frustrating just kind of see what side to play on. I don’t really know what to do to get ARCA to like me.”
Gibbs then took one final shot at Daytona calling the next race at Phoenix a race on a real racetrack and he even took a jab at his competition by saying it was a good thing his seat belts were tight with the people he races against in ARCA.
Overall, Gibbs didn’t hold back much in his post-race interview.
Dale Jarrett, a former Joe Gibbs Racing driver who was the 1999 NASCAR Cup Series champion with Robert Yates Racing and has since been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame took exception to Gibbs’ comments about the Daytona International Speedway on Twitter.
Someone might should remind young Ty Gibbs that his grandfather's 1st win as an owner came on that awesome track at Daytona that he considers "not a real racetrack"! Kids 🙄
— Dale Jarrett (@DaleJarrett) February 13, 2021
It seems the driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing ARCA car is not making friends, but at this point it also doesn’t seem that Gibbs is destined to stay in ARCA for much longer past this season. Back in January, Gibbs and Joe Gibbs Racing announced that the youngster will be heading to run some NASCAR Xfinity Series events in 2021.
We are going @XfinityRacing this year! I can’t believe it. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this journey of being a race car driver. Dreams do come true. This means a lot to me. I will do my best on and off the track to make my self the best driver I can be. pic.twitter.com/ynmqdMSxFw
— Ty Gibbs (@TyGibbs_) January 26, 2021