NASCAR Star Ty Gibbs Dedicates ARCA Win to F1 Great Ayrton Senna on 27th Anniversary of His Passing

Published 05/02/2021, 8:30 AM EDT
Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Ty Gibbs (54) celebrates after winning the Super Start Batteries 188 at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


Ty Gibbs led every single lap on the day to win the ARCA Menards Series race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday. Gibbs, who has already shown he belongs in NASCAR with a terrific start to his Xfinity Series career, dedicated his win to his idol, F1 legend Ayrton Senna. The win came on the 27th anniversary of Senna’s passing.

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Gibbs was utterly dominant on the day. The grandson of Joe Gibbs – the owner of NASCAR team Joe Gibbs Racing and a legendary NFL coach – Ty did a burnout on the race track after his win, then got out and climbed on the top of his car, pointing to the heavens.

It was a tribute to Senna, who Gibbs has always looked up to, and he has spoken about the same recently. A few weeks ago, Gibbs even wore a ‘Senna tribute’ helmet during one of his races.

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Ty Gibbs speaks about the impact of F1 great Ayrton Senna on his life

Speaking after the race, Gibbs expressed what the win meant to him coming on the anniversary of Senna’s death.

“The first thing I want to say is – it’s 27 years since we lost the best ever, Ayrton Senna. This was for him and all of his fans. It means a lot to me,” said an emotional Gibbs during his on-track interview.

Later, the 18-year-old shed more light on how much he looks up to Senna. Gibbs gathers all his inspiration as a race car driver from the former Formula One champion.

A portrait of Ayrton Senna of Brazil, driver of the #1 Honda Marlboro McLaren McLaren MP4/7A Honda V12 during tyre testing for the British Grand Prix on 7 July 1992 at the Silverstone Circuit in Towcester, Great Britain. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Allsport/Getty Images)

“In all of our lives, we find people that really mean a lot to us no matter what they come from. I came across him, he came as a role model for me to look up to and to drive like,” Gibbs said during a post-race interaction.

“We all look up to somebody, I look up to him”

Senna’s conduct off the race track impacted Gibbs as much as his racing skills.

“I don’t have any idols…But I believe in God. And I believe he gave me somebody like Senna to look up to. To watch how he drove, I really like how he drove. How he acted out of the race car, and just how he handled himself.

I feel like we come from decent backgrounds, pretty close. We all look up to somebody and I look up to him. To win it on the day he lost his life 27 years ago today means a lot to me,” Gibbs continued.

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Feb 20, 2021; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Ty Gibbs (54) leads Jeremy Clements (51) during the Super Start Batteries 188 at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Senna won the F1 championship thrice, during the 80s and early 90s. Gibbs has time and again expressed that he believes Senna was the greatest racer ever.

At a very nascent stage of his racing career, Gibbs is already considered one for the future.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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