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Joe Gibbs’ Rookie Grandson Gets a Taste of His Own Medicine as Fans Completely Support Michael McDowell’s Retaliation

Published 05/22/2023, 12:19 PM EDT

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In a dramatic turn of events during the All-Star Open Race in North Wilkesboro, rookie driver Ty Gibbs found himself on the receiving end of retaliation from veteran driver Michael McDowell. The incident has sparked intense discussions among fans, with many expressing their support for McDowell‘s actions. The clash between these two drivers has once again highlighted the unpredictable and fierce nature of short-track racing.

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All-Star Open Race witnesses drama between Ty Gibbs and Michael McDowell

During the preliminary race, Ty Gibbs, the grandson of legendary team owner Joe Gibbs, made a daring move that resulted in a crash with Michael McDowell. Ty Gibbs, driving Joe Gibbs Racing‘s #54 Toyota, sent McDowell’s #34 Ford spinning as a result of the contact. McDowell’s car suffered significant damage. Moreover, the crash also took Kaulig Racing driver Justin Haley’s #31 Chevrolet.


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Expressing his frustration, McDowell made it clear to his crew that he wanted his car repaired so he could take matters into his own hands. McDowell’s determination to seek retribution was evident when he squeezed Gibbs toward the inside wall during their encounter on the backstretch, ultimately allowing Josh Berry to slip past and secure the victory.


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The aftermath of the incident has seen fans voicing their opinions and showing overwhelming support for McDowell’s actions. In a post-race interview, McDowell stated, “Well, I mean, it’s short track racing to try to get into the All-Star Race, so somebody’s gonna leave with hurt feelings. I guess it’s me.

“I got a great restart there, you kind of work the outside, got a couple guys, and was able to get down. And you know, Ty just plowed into me, just knocked me into #31, spinning us both out. And you know got a lot of damage from that, so we ended up on the short side of it and it sucks, it felt like we had a pretty fast freight action Ford Mustang.

But at the same time, you know it’s just all that stuff comes around man, you get away with it a few times but it comes around.” 

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Fans retaliate against Ty Gibbs for crashing McDowell and Heley

Fans were quick to voice their opinions on the clash between Gibbs and McDowell. While some supported Gibbs and criticized McDowell’s retaliation, many others applauded McDowell’s response. A range of reactions flooded social media platforms, capturing the diverse perspectives of racing enthusiasts.

Some fans expressed their dissatisfaction with Gibbs and believed that his status as a rookie had shielded him from the full intensity of Cup racing. One fan commented, “Gibbs gonna learn the Cup guys aren’t pushovers like the Xfinity drivers are. Lol, about time lil’ silver spoon got it dished back to him.” The sentiment highlights the expectation that Cup racing demands a higher level of skill and grit compared to lower-tier series.


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Moreover, there were numerous fans who stood by McDowell’s actions and believed that he was justified in retaliating against Gibbs. A fan expressed, “Ty deserved that. Gibbs is trash.” This reaction reveals a perception that Gibbs might have displayed overly aggressive driving, leading to the collision and subsequent retaliation.

Despite the varying opinions, there was a prevailing sentiment among fans that McDowell’s actions were commendable. One fan stated, “Michael is too good of a man to just wreck him… but I’m glad he made him not win.” This reaction highlights the respect fans have for McDowell’s character and his ability to send a message without compromising the race’s outcome.


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The incident has underscored the high expectations and demands of Cup racing, where skill and determination are paramount. Despite the differing viewpoints, many fans admired McDowell’s actions, considering them justified and a means to send a strong message. This dramatic turn of events serves as a reminder of the passion and excitement that surrounds NASCAR racing, particularly on short tracks.

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Written by:

Dasnoor Anand


One take at a time

Dasnoor Anand is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports who brings a fresh perspective to the world of motorsports. She has always had a knack for writing and a love for cars. For years, she has been a devoted follower of motorsports and is particularly intrigued by the inner workings of Formula 1 teams as well as Stock Car Auto Racing.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal