2022 Season in Review: Ty Gibbs

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CREW CHIEF: Chris Gayle

TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing

POINTS: Xfinity Series champion

WINS: Seven (Las Vegas I, Atlanta I, Richmond, Road America, Michigan, Martinsville II, Phoenix II)

LAPS LED: 990

TOP 5s: 16

TOP 10s: 23

QUALIFIED FIRST: Four times (COTA, Richmond, Martinsville I, Bristol)

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Ty Gibbs was fast, and he was fast almost everywhere. Seven races into the season, he already had three wins, scored two more in the middle part of the year at Road America (where he outran Cup champion Kyle Larson) and Michigan, then finished the season with wins at Martinsville and in the title race at Phoenix.

The Martinsville win was the 10th of his career and made him the youngest Xfinity driver (20) to reach that level.

Gibbs failed to finish only three races, all because of accidents.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Gibbs spent almost as much time in trouble as he did in Victory Lane.

Along the way to the championship, he had significant disagreements with Ryan Sieg, John Hunter Nemechek, Noah Gragson and William Byron.

Gibbs was hit with the heaviest criticism, however, after he bumped JGR teammate Brandon Jones from the lead to win the season’s next-to-last race at Martinsville, thus denying Jones a spot in the Championship Four.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2023: Gibbs is moving on to the Cup Series, where he will replace Kyle Busch. His aggressive style of racing might not be quite as productive immediately at the next level.

Silly Season scorecard: A new mix for the new year

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Deep into December, the start of the 2023 NASCAR season seems far away, but shops have been busy getting cars and plans ready for the new year.

Some teams have new faces in new places. The biggest change for the new year will be Kyle Busch sitting in the No. 8 Chevrolets at Richard Childress Racing after winning championships with Joe Gibbs Racing. Ty Gibbs replaces Busch but will drive JGR’s No. 54. Ryan Preece moves into the No. 41 at Stewart-Haas Racing, and Tyler Reddick joins 23XI Racing.

A look at Silly Season as the calendar approaches 2023:

Cup Series

No. 1: Ross Chastain, the surprise driver of 2022, returns to keep the fire burning — and the watermelons smashing — at Trackhouse Racing.

No. 2: Austin Cindric, Daytona 500 winner and rookie of the year, returns to Team Penske.

No. 3: Austin Dillon returns in Richard Childress Racing’s flagship number.

MORE: NBC Power Rankings: The best of one-hit wonders

No. 4: Kevin Harvick will seek a return to playoff power.

No. 5: Signed by Hendrick Motorsports through 2026, Kyle Larson drives toward a second championship.

No. 6: Now firmly established as the boss at Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, Brad Keselowski will look to boost RFK’s profile in his second season there.

No. 7: Corey LaJoie returns, and why not put his face on his car hood for Daytona again?

No. 8: After a long and successful run at Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch joins Richard Childress Racing. What will happen? Just watch.

No. 9: Chase Elliott might be in this car for the rest of his career. He’s signed through 2027.

No. 10: Aric Almirola announced his retirement but made an abrupt U-turn and will return to this car for Stewart-Haas Racing. Bring the bacon.

No. 11: Denny Hamlin tries again to nab that first championship.

MORE: Sometimes you just gotta laugh…some NASCAR funnies

No. 12: Ryan Blaney, “Mr. Almost But No Point Wins in 2022,” is back with Team Penske.

No. 14: A return to Stewart-Haas Racing for one of the surprise drivers — Chase Briscoe — of 2022.

No. 15: Several drivers will share this ride for Rick Ware Racing.

No. 16: AJ Allmendinger jumps back into Cup full-time for Kaulig Racing.

No. 17: Chris Buescher scored RFK Racing’s first win this season.

No. 19: Martin Truex Jr. considered retirement for a while but will be back with JGR for at least another year.

No. 20: Christopher Bell was Mr. Magic in the 2022 playoffs. He’s back for another shot.

No. 21: Harrison Burton returns for another season in the iconic Wood Brothers car.

No. 22: The champ, Joey Logano, won’t be leaving the Penske ride.

No. 23: Bubba Wallace is back.

No. 24: William Byron remains at Hendrick Motorsports.

No. 31: Justin Haley makes another run for Kaulig Racing.

No. 34: Michael McDowell returns to Front Row Motorsports.

No. 38: Todd Gilliland back at FRM for his sophomore season.

MORE: Spiders? Snakes? What scares NASCAR drivers?

No. 41: Ryan Preece takes over this ride from Cole Custer in 2023.

No. 42: Noah Gragson, fresh from a sensational season in Xfinity, moves up to Cup with the new and improved Petty GMS team, now co-owned by Jimmie Johnson. Johnson plans to run a part-time Cup schedule with the team — car number not yet known.

No. 43: The King’s car will carry Erik Jones again.

No. 45: Tyler Reddick drives from Richard Childress Racing to 23XI in one of Silly Season’s biggest moves.

No. 47: Ricky Stenhouse returns.

No. 48: Alex Bowman expected back full-time after missing several races late in 2022 with concussion-like symptoms.

No. 51: Cody Ware and possibly other drivers will be in this ride.

No. 54: Ty Gibbs will drive this car, while Joe Gibbs Racing parks the No. 18 for the 2023 season.

No. 77: Ty Dillon moves from Petty GMS to race for Spire.

No. 78: Josh Bilicki will drive part-time for Live Fast Motorsports.

No. 99: Daniel Suarez, now a Cup winner, is back for Trackhouse.

Xfinity Series

No. 00: Cole Custer returns to the Xfinity Series for Stewart-Haas Racing after three years in Cup.

No. 1: Sam Mayer returns to JR Motorsports for a second season.

No. 2: Sheldon Creed returns to Richard Childress Racing.

No. 4: Bayley Currey is back at JD Motorsports.

No. 6: Brennan Poole is on board at JD Motorsports.

No. 7: Justin Allgaier returns to JR Motorsports for another shot at an elusive title.

No. 8: Josh Berry looks to reach the playoffs again for JR Motorsports.

No. 9: Brandon Jones departed Joe Gibbs Racing to drive for JR Motorsports.

No. 10: Landon Cassill is back with Kaulig Racing.

No. 11: Daniel Hemric returns with Kaulig Racing.

No. 16: Chandler Smith moves into the Kaulig Racing vacancy left by AJ Allmendinger.

No. 18: Sammy Smith driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.

No. 19: Ryan Truex will run a part-time schedule for Joe Gibbs.

No. 20: John Hunter Nemecheck driving for JGR.

No. 21: Austin Hill returns to Richard Childress Racing and also will run six Cup races for Beard Motorsports.

No. 24: Connor Mosack with Sam Hunt Racing.

No. 25: Brett Moffitt on board with AM Racing.

No. 26: Kaz Grala runs Xfinity full-time for Sam Hunt Racing.

No. 34: Jesse Iwuji and Kyle Weatherman possible drivers here.

No. 39: Ryan Sieg back for another season.

No. 44: Jeffrey Earnhardt will drive full-time for Alpha Prime Racing.

No. 45: Ryan Ellis and Saga Karam on board at Alpha Prime Racing.

No. 48: Parker Kligerman will run Xfinity full time for the first time since 2013.

No. 51: Jeremy Clements back with his family team.

No. 78: Garrett Smithley will race full time for BJ McLeod Motorsports.

No. 98: Riley Herbst returns to this ride and will have Cole Custer as a teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing in the Xfinity Series.

 

 

John Hunter Nemechek to drive for JGR in Xfinity in 2023

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John Hunter Nemecheck will drive the No. 20 car for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series, the team announced Thursday morning.

Ben Beshore, who had served as Kyle Busch‘s crew chief in Cup, will be Nemechek’s crew chief in the Xfinity Series.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity to get back to competing full time in the Xfinity Series,” Nemechek said in a statement from the team. “JGR is a group that I know I can win with after getting that win at Texas in 2021. I’m excited to get to work on the 2023 season so we can go out and win some races and compete for a championship.”

The 25-year-old Toyota development driver ran three Xfinity races for JGR last season while running full-time in the Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Nemechek has 13 Truck wins and two Xfinity wins in his career.

Mobil 1 will serve as the primary sponsor. Nemecheck also will have backing from long-standing partners Berry’s Bullets, Pye Barker Fire and Safety, Romco Equipment and his Grocery Store Brands throughout the 2023 Xfinity season.

Ty Gibbs to drive JGR No. 54 in 2023 Cup season

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Ty Gibbs will replace two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch in the Joe Gibbs Racing Cup Toyotas for the 2023 season.

JGR made the announcement, which had been expected for weeks, Tuesday. Gibbs is the grandson of team owner Joe Gibbs.

The team said Ty Gibbs will drive No. 54 but that it intends to race No. 18, used by Busch, in “future years.” Gibbs has raced No. 54 in Xfinity events.

Crew chief Chris Gayle will move from Xfinity to Cup with Gibbs.

JGR and Busch had one of the longest and strongest partnerships in auto racing, but their link began to unravel late last year when Mars/M&Ms announced it would end its long sponsor relationship with the team after the 2022 season.

JGR could not put together a financial deal that would keep Busch, and he ultimately decided to move to Richard Childress Racing for the 2023 season, leaving one of the sport’s best rides with a vacancy.

Gibbs, at 20 years old one of stock car racing’s rising stars, won the Xfinity Series championship this season. He won seven times on the way to the title.

Gibbs also stirred controversy during the season, particularly on the final lap of the next-to-last race when he bumped JGR teammate Brandon Jones to win at Martinsville, knocking Jones from the Championship 4 for the season finale.

Early in the season, Gibbs was involved in incidents with Ryan Sieg, John Hunter Nemechek and Sam Mayer. Gibbs and Mayer crashed on the last lap at Martinsville in April and fought on pit road after the race.

Gibbs apologized for wrecking Jones at Martinsville and said he will race cleaner in the future.

Gibbs ran 15 Cup races in 2022 as a replacement for 23XI Racing’s Kurt Busch, who was injured in a crash at Pocono. Gibbs’ best finish was a 10th at Michigan.

Phoenix Truck results: Zane Smith wins championship

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AVONDALE, Ariz. – Zane Smith, the title runner-up the past two years, charged to the lead on an overtime restart and held off reigning series champion Ben Rhodes to win Friday’s Camping World Truck Series race and claim the series crown at Phoenix Raceway.

“Third time is a charm,” the 23-year-old Zane Smith told FS1 after his fourth win of the season.

“For so long I’ve wanted this moment.”

Rhodes finished second. Chandler Smith placed third. Ty Majeski was 20th after crashing in the final laps.

MORE: Phoenix Truck race results

MORE: Truck Series points after Phoenix

The race changed when Hailie Deegan brought out the caution for a crash with 16 laps to go. That sent the field to pit road. Zane Smith led but was 10th after his pit stop. Two trucks did not pit and four trucks took only two tires, including Rhodes.

The race went to overtime when Majeski crashed while battling Zane Smith for second place four laps from the scheduled distance. Majeski was on the left rear of Zane Smith’s truck but lost control and slid across the track on the backstretch and hit the inside SAFER barrier.

Zane Smith started on the inside of the second row for the final restart and slipped past Rhodes. Coming to the checkered flag, Rhodes bumped Zane Smith but couldn’t move him.

“That was just the story of two vs. four (tires),” said Rhodes, who liked the pit call to take only two tires and gain track position. “I couldn’t get the jump I needed on the green. I didn’t have the grip… It was extremely hard to hold them off.”

Stage 1 winner: Zane Smith

Stage 2 winner: Zane Smith

Who had a good race: Kaden Honeycutt, making his ninth series start, finished a career-high ninth. … Tanner Gray finished eighth, only his second top 10 in the last 13 races. John Hunter Nemechek‘s fourth-place finish snapped a streak of three consecutive races without a top 10.

Who had a bad race: Hailie Deegan’s late crash left her with a 31st-place finish. It is the seventh time in the last eight races she has failed to score a top 10. … Christian Eckes finished 30th, snapping a streak of five consecutive top-10 finishes.

Next: The season is done. The series resumes Feb. 17, 2023 at Daytona International Speedway.