Ty Gibbs Shares Unique Record With NASCAR Great Terry Labonte After 2nd-Place Finish at Phoenix

Published 03/15/2021, 8:00 AM EDT
Feb 20, 2021; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Ty Gibbs (54) takes the checkered flag to win the Super Start Batteries 188 at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


At the NASCAR Xfinity race at Phoenix, Ty Gibbs just missed out on a second consecutive win. He did settle for second place, though, which was mighty impressive for a rookie. In the process, he became the second driver to win on his debut and follow it up with a second-place finish.

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The only other man to do it was former NASCAR driver Terry Labonte. He made his Xfinity debut in 1985, winning his very first race at Charlotte. He followed it up with a second-place finish at Road Atlanta in 1986, his second-ever appearance. Since then, he racked up 10 more Xfinity Series wins.

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Unfortunately, he never quite got close to an Xfinity Series win in his career. Labonte’s best finish was 13th in the 1996 Xfinity season. Admittedly, he never really had a full-time gig in the second-tier NASCAR series. However, he does have two Cup Series titles under his belt.

Ty Gibbs is destined for great things

Admittedly, the 18-year-old is still in the budding stages of his career. So, he has plenty of time to establish his own legacy in the sport. In the meantime, Gibbs is competing in the 2021 ARCA Menards Series and fighting for the title. So far, he lies second in the ARCA championship behind Corey Heim.

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

Only three points separate the two drivers in the championship. This is largely because Heim won the opening race and was second in the next one. Meanwhile, Gibbs finished fourth in the opening race and won the second race. Heim’s second place was enough to ensure that he was ahead of the teenager.

However, the two cannot afford to rest, as third-placed Drew Dollar is just six points adrift of Gibbs. Of course, just two races have been completed, and there is a lot of time to decide the championship. One thing is for sure though, Ty Gibbs will be battling fiercely, regardless of which series he is competing in.

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MORE: WATCH: Austin Cindric Holds Off Ty Gibbs in a Thrilling Finish in NASCAR Xfinity Race at Phoenix

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Dhruv George

11402 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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