Ty Gibbs notched an impressive Xfinity Series win Saturday at Road America, passing and then holding off reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson on the final lap of overtime.
Larson, who swept both stages and led a race-high 32 laps, had looked poised for victory until fellow Cup regular Cole Custer suffered a brake issue and crashed in Turn 5 while running third.
That erased a lead of nearly three seconds for Larson and sent the race into OT. Following the OT restart, Larson cleared Gibbs for the lead. But coming to the white flag, Gibbs closed back in.
MORE: Noah Gragson, Sage Karam trade contact, barbs
MORE: Race results, driver points
Larson kept the lead through Turn 1, but after Gibbs made slight contact with Larson in Turn 2, he made a clean pass for the lead in Turn 3 after Larson went wide there.
“I feel like we were a little bit faster in the first half of the track – the last two sectors, I feel like we were not as fast,” Gibbs told NBC Sports about the moments leading up to the pass.
“But I feel like, right now, I need to learn respect back. That’s what I’m doing. I feel like I’ve gotten my lessons, so I’ve just got to learn and not make mistakes.”
In his own comments to NBC Sports, Larson said that Gibbs had indeed earned respect from him.
“He was able to pass me without even laying a bumper on me at all,” Larson said. “When he passed me clean, I feel like I should not use him up like we’ve seen others do when they make a pass for the lead late.
“He ran me clean and then I was gonna run him clean. It just didn’t work out for me.”
Gibbs went on to beat Larson by .858 of a second to claim his series-best fourth win of the season.
Josh Berry finished third. Austin Hill finished fourth. Brandon Jones completed the top five finishers.
The race also saw a major crash on Lap 25 that began with an on-track battle between Noah Gragson and Sage Karam.
After the two made contact in Turn 1 and Turn 3, Gragson turned into Karam and caused the two to spin on the straightaway entering Turn 5.
The wayward Gragson and Karam kicked up clouds of smoke and dust. That led to multiple drivers behind them wrecking and causing a pileup that involved 13 cars.
One driver involved, Brandon Brown, ended up running hard into a stationary Tyler Reddick. Brown climbed out of his car but had to sit down in the nearby grass, where he was attended to by safety workers.
Brown, Karam, Reddick, Brett Moffitt, Myatt Snider, and Landon Cassill were later released from the infield care center after the incident.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Kyle Larson
STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Larson
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Riley Herbst was penalized for a safety violation after nearly hitting members of Sheldon Creed‘s pit crew during the Lap 25 caution, but came back to finish seventh… Gragson may not have done himself any favors with some of his fellow drivers, but still salvaged an eighth-place finish.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: A flat tire near the end of Stage 2 was costly for Anthony Alfredo, who finished a lap down in 23rd… A late-race spin dampened an otherwise solid Xfinity debut for ARCA Menards Series driver Sammy Smith, who was saddled with a 24th-place finish.
NEXT: Atlanta Motor Speedway – Sat., July 9, 5 p.m. ET on USA Network