Many have referred to Ty Gibbs as the second coming of Kyle Busch, but after getting all sorts of hate for his wildly controversial move at Martinsville Speedway last weekend, the 20-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing driver gave himself a much more, let's just say, traditional second-coming comparison.
After wrecking JGR teammate Brandon Jones on the last lap of Saturday's Dead On Tools 250 (and ending his NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff run in the process), Gibbs received a cavalcade of boos from the Martinsville crowd as he celebrated his sixth win of the season in Victory Lane. During a later appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Gibbs told host Claire B. Lang that he was able to deal with the negativity after thinking about another polarizing figure who wasn't always warmly received by the public.
"I always go back to the same verse that Jesus was hated first, and among all the people. That's a part of it," Gibbs said.
? "Jesus was hated first and among all the people. That's a part of it [...] silencing out the crowd."
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) October 29, 2022
It's not surprising why Gibbs probably won't be winning a Most Popular Driver award anytime soon. Before his move at Martinsville, many NASCAR fans and fellow drivers already looked at him with disdain for seemingly getting where he is in NASCAR largely thanks to his grandfather, JGR owner Joe Gibbs. His bumping of Brandon Jones made it easier for folks to pile onto the Ty Gibbs hate train, especially since Gibbs had already locked up a spot in the Championship Four before the Martinsville race was even finished. It's unfortunate for Gibbs, who didn't have many friends in the sport to begin with, to lose one of his few allies in Brandon Jones.
Jones, who will be racing for JR Motorsports in 2023, boldly declared "I"m damn sure glad to be out of this place" over his team's radio after his run-in with Gibbs. "This place," of course, refers to Joe Gibbs Racing, and it's clear that he'll be gunning for his soon-to-be former teammate come next season.
"Man, I don't know. I didn't expect to get wrecked into (turn) one. That's for sure," Jones said in a post-race interview. "Me and Ty have always been kind of friends, but lost all respect today. I know a lot of guys on pit road have for him. So I'm looking forward to getting first to Phoenix and trying to win that race, but then transitioning over to JRM next year. I'm gonna have a good time over there."
In Gibbs' mind, his aggression level was completely warranted. But, Jones isn't buying it.
"He was locked in, right? I mean, there was really no need for it," Jones said. "I get you want to win the race, you want to go for it. I want to race against the best. I want to try to beat the best out here. But man, you gotta give me an opportunity and a chance. You know, it's not really even having a chance to go race for a win and at least we could have been side by side or something."
"So second place, last place, didn't matter for us today. We had to win the race. So that part of it is what it is, but I would have liked to at least have had a chance to race against him and try to try to hold him off. To me that's what's fun is door-to-door racing and doing that, not just wrecking somebody."
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