Make your home page

Gibbs pulls away from Xfinity Series field to claim 1st win of season

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - AUGUST 12: Ty Gibbs, driver of the #19 He Gets Us Toyota, celebrates at the bricks after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 12, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ty Gibbs finally figured out how to beat A.J. Allmendinger in Indianapolis.

He made it to the front during the third stage of Saturday’s Xfinity Series race — then pulled away from the recent king of road courses.

The 20-year-old drove into victory lane for the first time this season by beating Sam Mayer to the finish line by more than seven seconds Saturday and relegating Allmendinger, the defending race champ and pole winner, to third.

Gibbs has 13 career Xfinity wins.

“Definitely about time, really cool to get one here at the Brickyard,” the Joe Gibbs Racing driver said. “Awesome car, great car. The team did such a great job, this is just so special.”

Recently, Allmendinger has been virtually untouchable on Indy’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile course and has finished in the top three for three consecutive Xfinity races at Indy. Last year’s win also came from the pole.

This time, as Allmendinger raced again as his wife, Tara, was expecting the couple’s first child. He opted to race anyway — and made it pay off yet again by winning the first two stages before fading late and finishing more than 10 seconds off the pace.

He faces an even more daunting challenge Sunday, when he starts from the No. 26 spot.

But this one sure didn’t follow the familiar script.

It was red-flagged for nearly 45 minutes because of lighting, which was followed by heavy rain that saturated the track. When racing resumed a rainbow appeared near the third turn of Indy’s 2.5-mile oval and the cars were running on rain tires, which came off quickly as the track dried.

That’s when Allmendinger took control of the race, leading for 21 laps and seemingly making all the right moves as Brad Perez’s stopped car brought out another yellow flag in the second stage.

But once Gibbs moved past Allmendinger in Stage 3, it was all over as the sun set over the speedway’s front straightaway — just about an hour’s drive away from the New Castle, Indiana, track where Gibbs used to drive go-karts.

“We’ve got the Brickyard, let’s go,” Gibbs shouted before explaining what he learned from Saturday’s race. “Just go win.”

Gibbs is starting 10th on Sunday. Xfinity Series points leader John Hunter Nemechek finished 13th with four races remaining before the 12-driver playoffs begin.


AP auto racing: AP auto racing: