The NASCAR Xfinity Series saw history made and a new star rise Saturday as 18-year-old Ty Gibbs won in his very first NASCAR start.
Gibbs, the grandson of NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs, drove the team's No. 54 Toyota to victory on the Daytona Road Course, holding off series champion Austin Cindric. Gibbs joined NASCAR greats Dale Earnhardt, Terry Labonte, Ricky Rudd and Kurt Busch as drivers who won NASCAR Xfinity Series races in their first career start.
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Gibbs pulls off upset in NASCAR Xfinity Series
Gibbs and Cindric were battling for the win when a caution flag flew with three laps to go. When the two leaders pitted, 10 cars stayed on the track, pinning Gibbs and Cindric deep in the field.
They both gained several spots on the restart, however, and were back in the top five when another caution flag flew. On the final restart of overtime, Gibbs quickly charged from fourth to the lead and then held off Cindric for the win.
An emotional Gibbs broke down and cried during his interview following the NASCAR Xfinity Series race.
"This is like a dream come true for me," an emotional Gibb said. "I really didn't think I had it, but we fought back and won. I don't even know what to do."
Ty Gibbs is the son of Coy Gibbs, a former NASCAR and member of Joe Gibbs Racing. Ty's grandfather, Joe Gibbs, was on his grandson's pit box during the NASCAR Xfinity Series race.
"I'm just thrilled," said Joe Gibbs, who field four cars in the NASCAR Cup Series and has won five series championships. "When it's your grandson, it's definitely different. Thank the Lord for this opportunity. ... This is like a dream come true for our family."
Cindric, who battled back from an early wreck, led the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on a restart with 13 laps to go but Gibbs challenged him for five laps before Cindric pulled away a bit and stabalized his lead. Cindric charged through the field and held off Gibbs despite a missing right-front fender on his car, courtesy of his early wreck with A.J. Allmendinger.
Big crash mars NASCAR Xfinity Series race
Cindric started on the pole of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race and led early until A.J. Allmendinger ran him down. Allmendinger passed him for the lead on Lap 11, setting up a dramatic moment.
Cindric caught Allmendinger on the last lap of Stage 1 and started banging on Allmendinger's bumper. When they got to the last turn before the finish line, Cindric dove inside Allmendinger, spinning him out and damaging both cars.
Allmendinger, who has five career NASCAR road-course wins, returned to the race five laps down before returning to the garage. Cindric also sustained damage to his car and dropped deep in the field before driving back through the pack.
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Allmendinger was not happy.
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The crash left Cindric with a big hole in the right front fender of his car but it didn't seem to slow him. He quickly charged back through the field and regained the lead with 17 laps to go in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race.
After Cindric and Allmendinger crashed, 18-year-old Ty Gibbs passed teammate Harrison Burton for the lead and won Stage 2 to become the youngest stage winner in series history.