For Ty Gibbs, the Short Track U.S. Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway could represent the next step on the ladder to success.
The grandson of Joe Gibbs, Ty has enjoyed some success in Late Model Stock cars. The 15-year-old driver won two features last season at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC), as well as a Southeast Limited Late Model Series event at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC).
Both Hickory and Greenville-Pickens hold places in the lore of NASCAR history. However, few venues can compare in both speed and history as Bristol for short track racers.
Gibbs has shown speed so far in 2018 on the CARS Response Energy Late Model Stock Tour, with two poles in the first four events of the season. Gibbs is two-for-two in the series’ events using “Knockout” style time trials, with poles at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC) and Hickory, the series’ most recent event.
Gibbs also boasts a top-five finish on the season, with a fifth-place run at Orange County Speedway (NC). While he still searches for his first series win, he gains the experience of competing against veterans of the Late Model Stock discipline such as Lee Pulliam, Deac McCaskill, and Josh Berry.
“This CARS tour has so many good guys,” Gibbs said. “It’s a super stacked field. It’s great for me to learn and race with the best guys out here. Josh and Deac and those guys are just amazing, and they know what they’re doing and have been doing it for a long time. It’s fun to race with so many competitive people.”
The Hickory front row was particularly remarkable, as Gibbs started alongside fellow 15-year-old Layne Riggs to lead the field to green, veterans and all.
“Last week, we were on the front row, and we had the veterans behind us,” Gibbs said about the Hickory pole. “It was pretty cool.”
What would be even cooler would be adding his first CARS Tour win to the resume. And what better place to do it than Thunder Valley?
“That would be crazy to get it here,” Gibbs said. “I’ve been coming here forever. Getting my first CARS Tour win here would be amazing. It would be awesome.”
However, Gibbs doesn’t expect he will get to enjoy all of the perks of a Bristol win if the cards work out in his favor. Namely, Ty fully expects father and former racer Coy Gibbs to find a special hiding place for the trademark gladiator sword trophy bestowed upon winners at The Last Great Colosseum.
“Probably not,” Gibbs said on the likelihood of keeping the sword. “My dad will take it and probably stick it somewhere.”
The Short Track U.S. Nationals return to the Last Great Colosseum in 2018 with six short track racing divisions in action. Race fans worldwide will be able to watch the excitement via a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com. Early bird video tickets can be purchased today at a savings of $9.99. Click here to purchase your video tickets today.
-By Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor - Twitter: @ZTEvans
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com