The NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Martinsville Speedway came to an end in a wild fashion. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones stole the win from teammate Ty Gibbs on the final lap and celebrated in Victory Lane. Meanwhile, Gibbs and JR Motorsports’ Sam Mayer got in a fistfight on pit road and prompted some strong reactions.
Gibbs was the aggressor in the post-race incident after contact with Mayer while running three-wide. He slammed into the rear of Mayer’s No. 1 while Jones took the checkered flag, and then he tried to spin him. Once both cars parked on pit road, Gibbs directed some angry comments at Mayer and shoved him before walking off. The incident only continued with Mayer shoving back and Gibbs throwing the first few punches.
Once the fight came to an end, there were some wild reactions on social media. The majority focused on Gibbs leaving his helmet on for the fight while Mayer removed his.
“After further review: the judges ruled Ty Gibbs will be deducted points for fighting with his helmet on!” one Twitter user commented after watching the fight. Another weighed in and said, “Holy s*** Ty Gibbs is a weenie.” Even Xfinity Series driver Brett Moffitt weighed in and said to “take the helmet off and have at it.”
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The debate on Twitter continued as drivers and fans alike discussed Gibbs keeping his helmet on for the fight. Others mentioned his aggressiveness in past races, like when he made contact with his teammate, John Hunter Nemechek, and moved him out of the way at Richmond in order to secure his first short-track win. Gibbs had previously told FOX Sports after his win at Richmond that he was “going to have to hit him” in order to take the lead and win.
“I tried to talk to him and he got all in my face. At that point, we’ve got to start fighting,” Gibbs said to FOX Sports’ Vince Welch after the Martinsville race and the fight. “We got put in a bad position there. The only thing I’m mad about is the [No. 1] didn’t have anything… he wasn’t going to get past the [No.] 16 there, and I just got hit in the left rear.”
Mayer Made Strong Comments After the Fight
Gibbs provided his side of the story after the fight, but the FS1 broadcast did not show Mayer’s. The reason is that the driver of the No. 1 had to undergo some evaluation at the infield care center. Once he exited, however, he provided some strong comments to media members in attendance.
“He threw a couple punches, they were weak,” Mayer said after the incident, video courtesy of Noah Lewis. “I can’t say much about that. It’s kind of funny. I just put the bumper to him for $100,000, and he got upset about it. But he’s been doing that to everyone else every week so far. I don’t understand how that can be so one-sided.”
Mayer also made some comments about the helmet remaining on during the fight. He said that Gibbs was either “scared of something” or that he had it in his mind to throw a punch the whole time. Though Gibbs stated after a meeting with NASCAR that he was trying to get his helmet off.
The 2 Xfinity Series Drivers Met With NASCAR Officials
Once Mayer and Gibbs each provided their sides of the story, they headed to the NASCAR hauler. They met with officials and each other to discuss the events leading up to the fight.
According to NASCAR Xfinity Series director Wayne Auton, the two drivers shook hands before exiting the hauler. Officials will still review the situation in the coming days and decide whether there will be any applicable penalties. If NASCAR decides to issue any, they will become public on Tuesday.
For now, the two drivers will head to the off week. The Xfinity Series will be inactive on Easter weekend while the Truck Series and the Cup Series drivers head to Bristol Motor Speedway for dirt races.