Friday, December 9, 2022

Noah Gragson on Ty Gibbs Crashing Jones: ‘It Was a Dirtbag Move and It’ll Catch Up To Him’

Ty Gibbs may have won the battle in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Dead On Tools 250 at Martinsville Speedway, but the manner in which he won the battle will make his fight in the war — next week’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship race — much more difficult.

Without a doubt, after Saturday’s race at Martinsville, Gibbs is public enemy No. 1.

Gibbs was locked into the Championship 4 by way of points in the closing laps of Saturday’s race, and he was in a heated fight for the win. Gibbs would get into a shoving match on the track in the closing laps and ultimately crashed Brandon Jones, his teammate who was also looking to win his way into the Championship 4, for the win.

While Gibbs said after the race that he didn’t mean to crash Jones, and that he simply intended to move him out of the way, Noah Gragson, one of Gibbs’ three competitors for the NASCAR Xfinity Series title took extreme exception with Gibbs’ driving in the closing laps on Saturday.

“I guess you kind of have to deal with that when you’re driving that Ty Gibbs Racing — I mean — Joe Gibbs Racing car,” Gragson said of Jones being punted by Gibbs.

Gragson continued by saying, “He destroyed him getting into the corner, but it’s not my battle.”

It seems almost unfathomable that a driver would crash their Playoff eligible teammate for a race win in the penultimate race of the season. But Gragson says that it didn’t surprise him one bit to see Gibbs make the move.

“Yeah, with him, yeah. Definitely can believe it,” Gragson explained. “Yeah.”

While yes, Gibbs walked out of Martinsville with a famed Martinsville clock, but at what cost? He celebrated on the frontstretch under a shower of boos from the fans in attendance. And he made an enemy out of a potential ally in next weekend’s championship race.

Not only that, but he took a potential two on two battle between Joe Gibbs Racing and JR Motorsports, and turned it into a lopsided Gibbs vs the World battle. Gragson says, while he can’t say for sure, he feels there is no way what Gibbs did in the closing laps on Saturday was in line with the team’s hopes and plans heading into the weekend.

“I mean, I would assume. I can’t say for sure, but I would assume that they have had meetings all week about getting as many organizational cars into the Final four,” Gragson stated. “I know if [JR Motorsports] were in that position, our goal is to get the No. 7 in, which luckily he did with the misfortune of the No. 19.”

So, what if Gragson was in the No. 19 car and was eliminated from Playoff contention due to an aggressive move from Gibbs? Gragson says he hinted that he would take physical steps to show his displeasure with Gibbs.

“I would be very, very mad right now if I was in the No. 19’s shoes,” Gragson explained. “[Gibbs] wouldn’t be smiling, taking pictures next to a clock right now. He’d be behind a stage with some extracurricular activities going on. But that’s not my battle. Just glad three JR Motorsports cars got into the Final 4 and excited to race for a championship.”

While Gragson and his two JR Motorsports teammates will now shift their focus to Phoenix for the championship, Gragson believes that Gibbs won’t have the luxury of thinking about the big picture next weekend.

“I don’t think I’m the biggest worry for the 54 right now. We’ve been collected in his stuff. Pretty much everyone down pit road has. Just dirtbag move and it’ll catch up to him,” Gragson stated with emphasis.

How will Gibbs fare in next weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway? That remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, his list of enemies is far longer than his list of allies heading into the biggest race of his young NASCAR career.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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