• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Ty Gibbs wrecks teammate to win Xfinity race at Martinsville

ByEvan McNelia

Oct 29, 2022
Ty Gibbs celebrates in Victory Lane

Photo courtesy of Mike Mulholland | Getty Images

Checkers or wreckers.

Teammate or not, Ty Gibbs was going for the victory Saturday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway.

His obstacle? His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brandon Jones, who was one lap away from joining Gibbs in the Championship 4 next Saturday at Phoenix. You be the judge of how the race ended.

The caution came out shortly after Jones’ car sat totaled in Turns 1 and 2, and it was Gibbs who led at the time of the yellow to take his sixth win of the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.

Gibbs had been locked into the Championship 4 prior to the final lap and will join Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier and Josh Berry in the fight for the title next Saturday at Phoenix Raceway.

“I definitely didn’t want to wreck him but I wanted to move him out of the groove,” Gibbs said after the race. “I feel like we lost the spring race the same way. It’s super cool to win here.”

Back in that spring race, Gibbs was involved in a post-race scrum on pit road with Sam Mayer after the two made a lot of contact in the closing laps of that event.

Instead of a clutch victory and a spot in the Championship 4 that would’ve been a two vs. two battle between JR Motorsports and JGR, Jones exited his totaled Toyota out of the playoffs with a 23rd-place finish.

“I had the race won,” Jones said. “I’m excited to make my move to JRM [JR Motorsports] next year and be a part of that organization. A little bit more respect probably given over there next year. We’ve got one more race left at Phoenix and I know we can still shake things up. I have no words.”

The scheduled 250-lap penultimate race of the season wound up exceeding the distance by 19 laps with numerous cautions and wrecked race cars.

Playoff drama unfolded throughout the race as drivers looked to gain track position. Every lap, there were seemingly cars bumping each other in order to get leverage and make a move. The most notable of typical short-track racing occurred in the Final Stage as AJ Allmendinger and Allgaier went toe-to-toe for multiple laps.

After beating and banging in a thrilling duel for a playoff spot, Allmendinger’s No. 16 couldn’t take any more contact and cut a tire on Lap 236, ending his championship aspirations.

Allmendinger missed out on the playoffs with a 16th-place finish while Allgaier managed to score a top five.

Surviving the calamity as best as they could, Sheldon Creed and Riley Herbst finished second and third, respectively. Gragson came home fourth.

Sam Mayer, Nicholas Sanchez, Daniel Hemric, Austin Hill and Blaine Perkins rounded out the top 10. The finish for Perkins marked his first career top 10 in the Xfinity Series.

Hill, who had the opportunity to point his way in entering Saturday, missed out on the Champ 4 after having incidents with a handful of drivers. After the race, Hills scuffled with Myatt Snider on pit road.

Stage 1 results:
19 Brandon Jones (T) – 10pt
54 Ty Gibbs (T) – 9pt
7 Justin Allgaier (C) – 8pt
8 Josh Berry (C) – 7pt
18 Sammy Smith (T) – 6pt
98 Riley Herbst (F) – 5pt
2 Sheldon Creed (C) – 4pt
16 AJ Allmendinger (C) – 3pt
1 Sam Mayer (C) – 2pt
21 Austin Hill (C) 1pt
Stage 2 results:
54 Ty Gibbs (T) – 10pt
7 Justin Allgaier (C) – 9pt
16 AJ Allmendinger (C) – 8pt
9 Noah Gragson (C) – 7pt
48 Nicholas Sanchez (C) – 6pt
8 Josh Berry (C) – 5pt
21 Austin Hill (C) – 4pt
27 Jeb Burton (C) – 3pt
39 Ryan Sieg (F) – 2pt
23 Anthony Alfredo (C) – 1pt

Only one race remains in the 2022 season and a champion will be crowned with the Phoenix title race next Saturday (6 p.m. ET, USA Network, NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

NOTE: Post-race inspection is complete in the Xfinity Series garage. There were no issues, confirming Gibbs’ victory. The No. 54 had one lug nut not safe and secure (monetary fine for crew chief).