Ty Gibbs Reveals the Secret to Winning Other Than a Really Fast Car

Nine wins in just 39 races is an undeniably good track record for a driver in the Xfinity Series, and Ty Gibbs backs it up with nine more top-5 results. He won his debut in NASCAR’s second-level series as an 18-year-old in 2021 and hasn’t looked back, aside from checking to see who’s finishing second.

He’s 19 now and the subject of constant speculation that he’ll be driving Cup Series cars for his grandfather at Joe Gibbs Racing full-time in 2023. In fact, he has three Cup races, including a breakthrough top-10 day at Michigan on Sunday, under his belt already.

He has talent. He has a fast car. But Gibbs also has a level of maturity off the track that serves him well as he rises through the ranks.

Ty Gibbs is an Xfinity Series force

Ty Gibbs celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series New Holland 250 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 6, 2022. | Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Ty Gibbs celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series New Holland 250 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 6, 2022. | Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Once Ty Gibbs fired off six victories in 16 starts in the 2020 ARCA Menards Series, there was little doubt he would be working his way through the ranks fairly quickly. However, Joe Gibbs Racing didn’t have a full-time car for him in the Infinity Series a year ago; he appeared in 18 of 33 races and won four of them in the No. 54 Toyota.

Driving that same car, future Hall of Famer Kyle Busch won all five of his Xfinity Series appearances. That begs the question as to how the credit should be allocated between the drivers and the cars.

Gibbs is back in the “54” this season, and Saturday at Michigan marked his fifth victory of the year. He’s only third in the standings to AJ Allmendinger and Justin Allgaier, but the literal handful of victories has him positioned to begin the playoffs with a points cushion.

Ty Gibbs is doing his best to stay disciplined off the track

At 19 years old and heading to a full-time NASCAR Cup Series job no later than 2024, Ty Gibbs could understandably be a party animal soaking in the nightlife like so many friends who just started college or graduated from high school into entry-level jobs.

But Gibbs wasn’t big on that lifestyle even before he started pulling double duty by subbing for Kurt Busch in Cup races, and he has even less time for it now. Gibbs says he studied the ways of top-tier talent in other sports and has developed an appreciation for the simple things in life.

“Sleep is the biggest thing for me,” he told reporters in between winning the Michigan Xfinity race on Saturday and placing 10th the next day in the Cup race. “Being able to get 10 to 12 hours of sleep every night is very key to success. If you look at Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tom Brady, all the guys are going to say that. And they’re a little older. For me, I’m growing still – hopefully.”

Gibbs said he did his share of late-night gaming and hanging out for a while, but it caught up to him. He realized that catching afternoon naps to re-energize made it tough to sleep at night.

“I just remember feeling exhausted and just tired during the day,” he said. “So, I just (said) I’m going to get the most sleep I possibly can, and it’s only going to help me.”

All stats courtesy of Racing Reference.

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