Ty Gibbs Finishes Second in ARCA Menards Series Debut

Ty Gibbs Finishes Second in ARCA Menards Series Debut

The ARCA Menards Series has always been a great developmental series, a place where aspiring stock car drivers can come and race cars almost identical to NASCAR Cup Series cars, sometimes on the very same tracks the Cup Series visits. Even the short tracks the ARCA Menards Series visits that aren’t on the Cup schedule give young drivers plenty of opportunity to learn and gain experience they will take with them as they move up the motorsports ladder.

Somewhere along the way, just learning and gaining experience became an ancillary benefit.

Young drivers now flock to the ARCA Menards Series, drivers as young as 15 years old, and they expect to win right out of the box.

Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Monster Energy/ORCA Coolers/Advance Auto Parts Toyota) is one of those young drivers for whom just gaining experience isn’t enough.

Gibbs made his ARCA Menards Series debut in the ARCA Pensacola 200 presented by Inspectra Thermal Solutions at Five Flags Speedway. The official results sheet shows him as second at the checkered flag, something most 16-year-olds couldn’t even fathom. But Gibbs, like others before him, wasn’t entire satisfied just being out there.

“I feel like I gave the race away on pit road,” Gibbs said. “I let the clutch slip a little on the last stop and we lost time on pit road because of it. I really thought we have the car to beat tonight. If it wasn’t for that, I think we would have been in victory lane.”

Gibbs was fast off the trailer, jumping to the top midway through the day’s only practice session. A slip in qualifying meant Gibbs would start mid-pack, but he methodically worked his way towards the front of the field. By the midway point, he was in the top five and he would stay there through the finish.

Gibbs was credited with leading lap 161 on pit road, moments before his ill-timed mistake on pit road. Once back under green, Gibbs raced from fifth through the top five to steal second away from former Snowball Derby winner Christian Eckes in the final corner of the final lap.

“We’re here to win, so it’s a little disappointing to make a mistake on pit road that I think cost us a chance at winning,” Gibbs said. “We had a great car and I have a great team and we did learn a lot here today. I am already excited to go to Salem. I just wish it wasn’t five weeks away.”

Practice for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 is set for 11 am ET on Saturday, April 13 with General Tire Pole Qualifying scheduled for 3 pm ET that afternoon. The green flag on round three of the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season will drop shortly after 2 pm ET on Sunday, April 14. The race will be televised live on MAVTV and ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live chat, and live track updates at ARCARacing.com. New members can register for free at ARCARacing.com/login.



Best of luck young man.