MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Ty Gibbs punched Sam Mayer on pit road after Friday night’s Xfinity Series race that saw both drivers bounce off each other on the final lap.
Gibbs led to start the second overtime before teammate Brandon Jones moved him out of the way. Jones went on to win. Gibbs and Mayer bounced off each other racing Landon Cassill for second. Mayer finished fifth. Gibbs, who was seeking his fourth win of the year, placed eighth after hitting the wall.
After the race, Gibbs tailgated Mayer’s car on pit road. After exiting his car, Gibbs went to Mayer, who also was out of his car. They had a discussion and Gibbs shoved Mayer before walking away.
Mayer went back to Gibbs and they exchanged shoves as Gibbs attempted to unhook his HANS device to remove his helmet.
Gibbs hit Mayer on the chin with a right and followed with another right that hit Mayer in the face. Gibbs missed Mayer’s face with a left.
Both were dragged to the ground as officials and others tried to break up the scrum.
Mayer had a cut on his forehead.
Both drivers were called to the NASCAR hauler. Gibbs and Mayer met with officials for about 10 minutes.
#NASCAR … Ty Gibbs details why he punched Sam Mayer on pit road after the @NASCAR_Xfinity race at @MartinsvilleSwy pic.twitter.com/9vSrGxCVDx
— Dustin Long (@dustinlong) April 9, 2022
Afterward, Gibbs explained what led to him throwing the punches.
“I was going to go up and talk to Sam,” said Gibbs, grandson of car owner Joe Gibbs. “I was just frustrated. We led the whole thing and got drove in the fence, which is understandable – everybody is racing hard at the end of the day. Congrats to the 19 team and Brandon (Jones) for the win. We had a great car.
“… I talked to Sam. I was frustrated. I was like, ‘What are you doing?,’ when we got drove in the fence. We were kind of shoved a little bit and I turned away.
“When I got grabbed and kind of pulled, that just led up to that moment. It just built up, built up, built up and I snapped and that’s just part of it. Hopefully, I learn from it.”
Mayer told NASCAR.com‘s Zack Albert: “That restart, (Jones) pushed us both up the race track. So at that point, the race win was out of my hands. So I had the $100,000 (Dash 4 Cash bonus) in my sights, and I was gonna do what I had to do to try to get back, and yeah, I put the bumper to him.
“That was like, in my opinion we talked in the (NASCAR) trailer and it was just a clean bump-and-run, and (Cassill) kind of stuck it in there, kind of got us both crossed up, and that’s … where it kind of went to crap.
“But like I just talked to (Gibbs), he came back over, he was upset and just decided to throw a couple punches, but it’s fine by me. We talked about it. We’ll be good going forward, especially at Talladega (next series race on April 23). That’s a place where you don’t want to be enemies, so we’re gonna move on and be A-OK, keep our head down and go out try to get a win next week or next time.”
Hear from both sides after tonight's fight at @MartinsvilleSwy.@sam_mayer_: pic.twitter.com/J6p5ceUh3L
— NASCAR Xfinity (@NASCAR_Xfinity) April 9, 2022