Ty Gibbs is only in his first full-time season as an Xfinity Series driver, but he has his eyes set on some potential future moves. He has hopes to get behind the wheel of a Next Gen car so he can get some crucial experience before making the leap to the next level.
Gibbs addressed the possibility during a media availability at Darlington Raceway on May 6. He explained that he had wanted to serve as the possible backup for Kyle Busch while the Cup Series driver awaits the birth of his second child, but he also noted that this decision was not his to make. Gibbs then explained that he believes it is important to get some work in the near future.
“I haven’t heard anything,” Gibbs said about some potential part-time starts. “I would definitely like to run in the [No.] 18, but they chose somebody different. I don’t really know. I feel like with all this new car and how completely different it is, I feel like it would be good for me to get into it as soon as I can just to learn from it. But at the same time, I’m not making decisions, and I’m in Xfinity. I just want to do the best I can and win as much as I can.”
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Gibbs Has Achieved a Considerable Amount in Xfinity
The questions about a potential part-time schedule in the Cup Series are understandable considering the way Gibbs has performed early in his career. He already has seven wins in 28 Xfinity Series starts, as well as four pole wins.
Gibbs is currently tied for second in the championship standings with JR Motorsports driver Noah Gragson. They are the only two drivers with multiple wins in 2022, but they are both 43 points behind AJ Allmendinger, who has a top-10 finish in every race.
Of course, simply excelling in the Xfinity Series is not a guarantee that Gibbs will achieve a similar level of success when he does ultimately move up to the Cup Series. The cars are very different, and there is a steep learning curve.
Questions Will Remain About Gibbs’ Cup Future
With Gibbs continuing to contend for wins in the Xfinity Series, he will draw more questions about his future in the Cup Series. These will likely increase in frequency based on how other contract situations shake out.
There are two drivers in the JGR stable who have yet to announce plans for the upcoming season. Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are both in the final years of their respective deals, and there are questions about whether they will return.
Busch’s situation will depend on which sponsor joins the No. 18 team and replaces Mars Inc., who will depart after the 2022 Cup Series season. Truex, on the other hand, will need to decide whether he wants to return for another run in 2022. He has indicated that he is enjoying his time in the Gen 7 cars, but he hasn’t revealed whether he will suit up for another season in the No. 19.
If either driver departs Joe Gibbs Racing after the 2022 season, there will be a potential opening for Gibbs to move up. There is no guarantee that the team would use him to fill one of these seats after only one year in Xfinity, but he could create this conversation with some strong performances.