Ty Gibbs

Joe Gibbs’ grandson, Ty Gibbs, wins Icebreaker Late Model race

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Ty Gibbs, the 16-year-old grandson of Joe Gibbs, won Saturday’s Icebreaker Late Model race at Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) Speedway.

His victory came about a week after the memorial service for J.D. Gibbs, son of Joe Gibbs. J.D. Gibbs died Jan. 11. He was 49.

Joe Gibbs told the track’s announcer in a post-race interview : “I’m just so proud of (Ty Gibbs). This is all Ty has ever wanted to do is race cars. We’re thrilled with that. The Lord has blessed us with a great experience for our family here. I’ve got seven grandsons, it looks like he’ll be the one who races.

“Just a huge deal for the family. Ty has really worked extremely hard at this.”

Ty Gibbs credited his team, “an amazing group of guys,” he told the track’s announcer in a post-race interview. The victory was Ty Gibbs’ first at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

Ty Gibbs is scheduled to drive 12 ARCA races this season for Joe Gibbs Racing, sharing the ride with Riley Herbst.

NASCAR suspended Ty Gibbs three races Jan. 30 for a violation of the sport’s preseason testing policy. Gibbs tested an ARCA car for car owner David Gilliland‘s DGR-Crosley team. The car had a K&N Pro Series East engine, leading to the violation. NASCAR also suspended Gilliland three races, docked Gibbs 100 driver points, Gilliland 100 owner points and fined Gilliland, Gibbs and crew chief Chad Walters $5,000 each. Walters also was suspended indefinitely. DGR-Crosley is appealing the penalties, stating “we strongly believe that we did not violate any rules.”

You can watch Icebreaker race and the post-race interviews with Ty Gibbs and Joe Gibbs in the video below:

Why Las Vegas test is so important

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While nearly two dozen Cup and Xfinity teams will take part in this week’s two-day test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, at least one new driver-crew chief combination is putting its significance into perspective, particularly due to the new rules package that will mark the first time teams experience the new aerodynamic and horsepower elements.

“It’s almost at the very top (of all-time tests), obviously, because this is our one chance to work on communication and the new package, and we have some new players in the shop too, engineering-wise,” Matt McCall, crew chief for Kurt Busch at Chip Ganassi Racing, told a media gathering earlier this week.

“We’ve got a lot of different stuff we need to communicate on, not just between me and Kurt, but also the team and Kurt,” McCall added. “So, it’s pretty high up there, for sure.”

Busch, who won the 2004 Cup championship, is looking forward to the test at his hometown track and to work on car-to-team on-track communication. Busch owns LVMS’ speed record of 196.328 mph (set in 2016), but given the new package’s horsepower limitations, it’s unlikely he’ll come close to that speed in the test.

“For me, it’s just to get behind the wheel and to feel the Chevrolet and feel the drivetrain and to go through a few setup changes,” Busch said. “I think the most important thing is radio communication and how we want to mock-up certain pit stop sequences for changes as we’re out on-track and just having that banter back and forth so when we roll into Daytona, we’re best prepared.

“That’s a big reason why Chip Ganassi Racing is having the No. 1 car go do this test is to work the bugs out of it and just work those sequences into how we’re going to go attack things in Daytona.”

Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials are also touting the significance of the test on Thursday and Friday, issuing a media release with this headline: “Elite drivers ready for one of the most important tests in NASCAR history.”

The data teams collect from the test will go a long way towards adapting early in the season to 1.5-mile tracks such as Atlanta Motor Speedway and LVMS, which host the second and third races of 2019 – Feb. 24 and March 3, respectively – after the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 17.

In addition to Busch and McCall, the Las Vegas test will also be the first on-track interaction between several other driver/crew chief combinations including Jimmie Johnson and new crew chief Kevin Meendering, Chad Knaus and William Byron at Hendrick Motorsports and Ryan Newman and Scott Graves at Roush Fenway Racing.

The test will be open to fans with free admission. Also, NASCAR.com will be streaming parts of the test.

Here’s the list of drivers and teams that will be taking part in the Las Vegas test:

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
0 Landon Cassill, Starcom Racing, Chevrolet
1 Kurt Busch, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet
2 Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford
3 Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet
6 Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford
13 Ty Dillon, Germain Racing, Chevrolet
14 Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford
18 Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota
21 Paul Menard, Wood Brothers Racing, Ford
43 Bubba Wallace, Richard Petty Motorsports, Chevrolet
47 Ryan Preece, JTG Racing, Chevrolet
48 Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet
51 Cody Ware, Rick Ware Racing, Chevrolet
95 Matt DiBenedetto, Leavine Family Racing, Toyota
Chevrolet W
heel Force car Ross Chastain, Chevrolet Racing
Ford W
heel Force car David Ragan, Ford Motor Company
Toyota W
heel Force car Drew Herring, Toyota Racing Development

NASCAR Xfinity Series
8 Zane Smith, JR Motorsports, Chevrolet
9 Noah Gragson, JR Motorsports, Chevrolet
18 Riley Herbst, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota
98 Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford

Event schedule (all times Eastern Time):
Thursday, Jan. 31

11 a.m.–Practice begins; LVMS gates, grandstands and pit road (via infield tunnel) open to the public
2 p.m.–Drafting practice on track
3-4 p.m.–Driver’s lunch break, driver group interviews in media center
6 p.m.–Drafting practice on track
8 p.m.–Drafting practice on track
10 p.m.–Track secure

Friday, Feb. 1
11 a.m.–Practice begins; LVMS gates, grandstands and pit road (via infield tunnel) open to the public
Noon –Drafting practice on track
2 p.m.–Drafting practice on track
3 p.m. –Track secure

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Riley Herbst to compete part-time in Xfinity for Joe Gibbs Racing

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Riley Herbst will compete part-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series and the ARCA Racing Series this season, the team announced Wednesday.

Herbst, who turns 20 on Feb. 24, will be sponsored by Monster Energy in both series along with Advance Auto Parts and ORCA Coolers.

JGR had previously been sponsored by NOS Energy.

The Las Vegas native made his Xfinity debut in the June 2018 race at Iowa Speedway and finished sixth.

Herbst will make his first of eight Xfinity starts this season on April 12 at Richmond.

He will split time in the No. 18 Toyota with Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Jeffrey Earnhardt.

The team will be led by crew chief Ben Beshore, who previously served as a race engineer for JGR’s Cup program.

In ARCA, Herbst will share the No. 18 Toyota with Ty Gibbs, grandson of JGR owner Joe Gibbs. Herbst will make seven starts and Ty Gibbs will make 12 starts.

“To be a part of JGR the last few years has been a great opportunity for me and I’m excited to compete in both the Xfinity and ARCA series this year,” said Herbst in a press release. “The new Toyota Supra’s are pretty sweet and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one and take it around the track.

“We’ve got goals set for this year and it would be cool to get my first win this season and take the new Supra to victory lane. 2019 is going to be a fun year and I’m ready to get it started at Daytona in a few weeks.”

Herbst will be among the drivers taking part in this week’s two-day organizational test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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Grant Enfinger wins Truck race at Las Vegas

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Grant Enfinger survived three overtimes to win his second career race and lock himself into the second round of the playoffs. Enfinger took the lead on the final restart when Brett Moffitt ran out of fuel. Enfinger had fresher tires after gambling and taking no tires with 49 laps remaining.

Enfinger entered the Las Vegas race last among the eight playoff contenders in the points after getting spun late in the Truck race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and finishing 17th.

On the final lap Friday night, Enfinger held off Johnny Sauter.

Playoff contenders Justin Haley, Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton rounded out the top five.

Haley was already locked into round two of the playoffs with his win in the opening playoff race.

Moffitt fell to 11th after his fuel problem.

Noah Gragson blew a left front tire with 25 to go after contact with Moffitt in traffic. Gragson was hit with a commitment line violation when the tire blew and lost two laps in the process. He made one of those laps up and finished 18th.

Stewart Friesen spun three times in the final stage of the race. He did substantial damage in the final spin and finished 17th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Noah Gragson

STAGE 2 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

MORE: Click here for complete results.
MORE: Click here for points report

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Matt Crafton had to start at the rear of the field after making unapproved adjustments to his truck; he was in the top 10 within five green flag laps and maintained his track position…. Myatt Snider snapped a six-race streak of finishes outside the top 10 with a sixth. … Ross Chastain is attempting the tripleheader at Vegas. He got off to a strong start with a seventh in the Truck race. … Jennifer Jo Cobb scored her first top 15 in 90 attempts with a 12th. Her last top 15 before this was a 13th at Kansas in May 2014. This is Cobb’s second best career finish.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Tanner Thorson went high to avoid a loose Myatt Snider and got out of the groove on Lap 2. He pounded the outside wall and was the first driver out. … Bo LeMastus was running 28th on Lap 46 when he pancaked the right side of his truck. … Riley Herbst pushed into the wall late in Stage 2, cutting his tire with five to go in that segment. … Todd Gilliland and Jesse Little ran out of room trying to arc into Turn 1 on Lap 83; Gilliland got turned into the wall. … Stewart Friesen was battling for a top-five finish when he spun the first time; he hit the wall and did significant damage in his third spin on Lap 131.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “We were supposed to be a few laps to the good. It shouldn’t have been an issue,” Brett Moffitt on if he had any concerns about fuel before running out on the final restart.

NOTABLE: Justin Haley and Grant Enfinger will advance to the second round with their wins in the first round. That leaves six drivers contending for the last four spots to advance to the second round.

WHAT’S NEXT: Talladega 250 at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 13 on Fox.

Noah Gragson wins truck pole at Las Vegas

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Noah Gragson posted a lap of 178.036 mph to grab the pole for tonight’s World of Westgate 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas. It is his fifth pole of the season. The last time he led the field to green was on another 1.5-mile track (Kentucky) and he finished eighth in that race.

Gragson beat Stewart Friesen (176.811 mph) by more than two-tenths of a second.

Grant Enfinger (176.540), Chris Eggleston (176.240) Riley Herbst (176.056) rounded out the top five.

Points leader Johnny Sauter qualified sixth.

Tate Fogleman, JJ Yeley and Norm Benning failed to qualify. 

Click here for the complete lineup