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Once Elon Musk solves Twitter’s No. 1 issue by killing the bots, he should engineer a filter preventing everyone from making the same joke about Ty Gibbs and Brandon Jones. I mean, it was funny the first 133 times I saw it tweeted, but it turned tedious after that.

We’ll find out in a few days if it turns true at the Xfinity Series Championship 4.

Every NASCAR fan on Twitter referenced 2015 at Martinsville

Racing on short tracks is intense business because 36 cars on a half-mile oval don’t leave a lot of open space. Throw in the fact that Martinsville’s fall date is a playoff race – in this case the elimination race setting the Championship 4 field – and the stakes grow.

Everyone has seen the video of Ty Gibbs punting JGR teammate Brandon Jones in overtime on Saturday, costing Jones his shot at making the Championship 4. Given that Gibbs was already locked into his shot at the title in Phoenix, it was a horrible look for the grandson of the Joe Gibbs Racing owner.

Twitter reacted quickly and in unison by recalling another notable Martinsville incident and anticipating a scenario for next weekend that should worry Gibbs. Numerous people tweeted the photo of Matt Kenseth intentionally wrecking Joey Logano in 2015. The tweet above customized the car numbers to further drive home the point.

Kenseth, still furious with Logano for taking him out late in the Kansas playoff race, leading to his subsequent elimination, put Logano into the wall at Martinsville. Then, for good measure, he rammed the side of the No. 22 Ford to maximize damage, relegating Logano to 37th place and dropping him from first to eighth in the playoff standings.

Logano subsequently missed making the Championship 4.

Ty Gibbs crossed the line with the way he raced Brandon Jones

Matt Kenseth collides with Joey Logano during the NASCAR Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Nov. 1, 2015. | Getty Images
Matt Kenseth collides with Joey Logano during the NASCAR Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Nov. 1, 2015. | Getty Images

There is a difference between “moving” a driver and intentionally spinning him or forcing him into the wall. No objective observer can make a case that what Ty Gibbs did to Brandon Jones was anything other than intentional.

Just minutes preceding their incident, Justin Allgaier and AJ Allmendinger engaged in a multi-lap duel featuring too many bumps to count as they battled for what was potentially the last Championship 4 berth. Allgeier’s last hit deflated a tire on Allmendinger’s Chevy, taking him out of the hunt.

But both drivers knew what they were doing, and neither resorted to going for a kill shot. It was intense racing and will make for a long day at their respective body shops on Monday, but it was fair.

The same cannot be said for Gibbs’ action, and he might regret not thinking this one through.

Ty Gibbs may soon learn how ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’


An Xfinity Series Star Swears Ty Gibbs Makes Him Even Better

Jeff Gluck, who covers racing for The Athletic, correctly pointed out on Twitter (naturally, right?) NASCAR will have to do something with Gibbs this week as a pre-emptive move against Brandon Jones feeling he has carte blanche to go all Matt Kenseth on Gibbs.

Given the way, however, so many drivers, crew members, and even team owners consoled Jones after Saturday’s finish, it’s fair to ask if Jones would even have to do his own wet work to keep Gibbs from winning the Xfinity Series championship in Phoenix.

Lest we forget, Gibbs and Jones are teammates, so doing the deed himself would be more awkward than what happened at Martinsville because there will literally be a championship at stake.

On the other hand, Jones has already signed to drive for JR Motorsports in 2023. He’ll have no lingering loyalty to Gibbs nor to a team that doesn’t have a great reputation for the way it treats its drivers.

Maybe Gibbs should have considered the three others forming the Championship 4 field:

  • Noah Gragson, driver of the JR Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet.
  • Josh Berry, driver of the JR Motorsports No. 8 Chevrolet.
  • Justin Allgaier, driver of the JR Motorsports No. 7 Chevrolet.

If Jones surreptitiously slaps a JR Motorsports sticker on the side of his car after the “start your engines” command on Saturday, then Gibbs ought to be more than a little worried.

Got a question or observation about racing? Sportscasting’s John Moriello does a mailbag column each Friday. Write to him at [email protected].

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