Ty Gibbs started second but thoroughly proved that he could get to the front.
He got the lead from polesitter AJ Allmendinger in the early laps and pulled away before looming rain brought lightning and forced the drivers out of their cars for forty minutes.
Allmendinger retook the lead after restarting on slicks when Gibbs took the wet tires – falling back quickly as the track dried but inheriting the lead when Gibbs and others traded their wet tires for slicks on the long pit road. Just after the conclusion of Stage 2, though, Gibbs once again drove past and never looked back, ultimately leading 27 laps on the day.
It’s the first win for Gibbs in the Xfinity Series this year in seven starts after winning the championship last season. The best he could manage before Indianapolis was a third-place finish at Circuit of The Americas.
“Yeah, definitely about time,” Gibbs said after getting out of his car. “Really cool to get one here at The Brickyard, I grew up racing go-karts down the street so really special to me.”
“Awesome car, great car. Thank you [crew chief] Jason Radcliff – this is the man right here! He did such a great job, thank you,” he added. “This is just so special to me.”
Gibbs will also be competing on Sunday as a full-time Cup Series driver. Though the win means a lot, being his first visit to victory lane since his championship last season, the focus was on getting experience for the Cup race.
As for what he plans to do in Sunday’s race: “Just, go win,” he joked.
He admitted, though, that he did know the track better and had lessons to use on Sunday before turning to hug his crew.
Sam Mayer finished second after passing AJ Allmendinger in the closing laps. It follows up his first-ever Xfinity Series win on the road course at Road America several weeks prior.
Mayer, who led five laps himself, also scored plenty of crucial stage points, finishing second in the first stage and third in the second. His win locks him comfortably in the Playoffs, though.
AJ Allmendinger, who started on the pole, finished third. He led at the beginning and retook the lead after the call to restart on slick tires on a wet track paid off when he passed the leaders on pit road. But last year’s winner at the track just didn’t have the speed to hold off Gibbs, and eventually even Mayer.
Allmendinger did lead 21 laps in total though, enough to score the win of Stage 1 and Stage 2. New for this year, the road course race did not feature a caution at the stage break and instead racing continued, giving Ty Gibbs the chance to power past just after the second stage.
Austin Hill and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top five.
Parker Kligerman, on the other hand, is in precarious Playoff position, sitting outside the Cutline by some distance. He managed to just pass Sheldon Creed, who ended up eighth, which was a critical pass since Creed is one of the drivers above the cutline without a win.
Kaz Grala, who finished ninth, the second-highest finishing driver in a Toyota Supra after Ty Gibbs, was happy with his performance driving for Sam Hunt Racing, a young team with a young owner.
“I’m feeling good about where Sam Hunt Racing’s road course program is right now,” Grala said. “To be honest with you, I don’t think today was even our best day, and it was still a top-10.”
“I think that is when you know that you are in a good spot right now with what you have working set-up wise, communication wise. Really proud of everyone on the team. All-in-all, still a solid day – imagine a good points day, so I’m pleased with the outcome. Indy is a big deal, so cool to run well here,” he added.
Brett Moffitt rounded out the top ten.
The Xfinity Series returns for the Shriners Children’s 200 at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, August 19th at 3:30 pm ET, with coverage on USA network.
Pennzoil 150 Presented by Advance Auto Parts
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course
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