Team owner Joe Gibbs said he and his family are helping grandson Ty Gibbs walk through the “consequences” of his actions in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Martinsville.
On the final lap of the third overtime in Saturday’s race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Ty Gibbs knocked then-leader Brandon Jones out of the way and into the wall entering Turn 1.
NASCAR almost immediately displayed a caution for the wreck but since Jones had taken the white flag, the field was frozen with Gibbs as the leader and he claimed the win, his sixth of the season.
Earlier in the race, Gibbs had already clinched a spot in the Championship 4 by points while Jones – Gibbs’ teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing – needed to win the race to advance in the playoffs.
Gibbs took the win, but with his move, denied JGR the opportunity to have two drivers competing for the series title this weekend at Phoenix.
Gibbs was heavily booed by fans on the track and his actions – including a prolonged celebratory burnout – ignited a hefty backlash on social media. NASCAR did not penalize him for the move, deeming it “racing for the win.”
Joe Gibbs reacts
Asked about how he and the organization are dealing with the aftermath on Tuesday, Joe Gibbs said, “There’s a lot to it. We’re trying to – as a family and as a race team family – we’re trying to work through every single part of that. We’re still going through it, because it isn’t easy, everything that happened.
“We want to go about this the right way, and we are walking – I am and our family is – with Ty as he walks through all of this.
“When tough things happen, and certainly nobody wanted that to happen, I said, now there’s consequences, and so we’re trying to walk through those with him. I was also there, and so I think a lot about that, too. There’s things that I could have done a better job of.”
Joe Gibbs said ensuring everyone was aware of the circumstances at the end of the race was one thing that could have been handled differently.
“Yeah, I think being aware of the circumstances is one thing. But there’s other things there, too,” he said. “It was something that was heat of the battle. Everything is taking place. There was so much going on.
“I feel like I could have handled it better. I think that’s it. All of us certainly wish that it had never happened. We think the world of Brandon and his dad, J.R., so we’re just kind of committed to at this point go through all of this and try and do it in the right way.”
Jones is leaving JGR at the end of the season to move to JR Motorsports in 2023 – a decision that was announced on Sept. 14.
Gibbs said dealing with the aftermath of the incident was “definitely different” with the driver being his 20-year-old grandson.
“I think everybody out there that’s got kids and grandkids know the feelings, so that’s all part of it,” he said. “Sometimes that’s not easy to kind of walk through all that, but I think it’s just something that we have to – as a family and as a race team family.
“Sometimes the question is different, because it is your grandson. I’ve watched Ty for 20 years. Just we know every single thing about him. I know what kind of kid he is.
“As a family, we just want to have what’s best for him, and we want to help him in every way, and we’re going to stay real close to him and just walk with him through this.”
Ty Gibbs as well as JR Motorsports drivers Noah Gragson, Josh Berry and Justin Allgaier have the opportunity on Saturday to win the series title. Gibbs now has 10 wins in 50 series starts.