DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: NASCAR Wire Service // Ty Gibbs turned in a historic NASCAR Xfinity Series debut Saturday night, the 18-year-old won in his first series start – holding off reigning champion Austin Cindric on the Daytona International Speedway Road Course in the Super Start 188 At DAYTONA Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts.
Gibbs took the lead on a restart in double overtime and held off the field by a comfortable 1.726-seconds at the finish line, dropping to his knees to reflect after climbing out of his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota – a car owned by his grandfather, NASCAR Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs.
With his win in the Super Start Batteries 188 at DAYTONA Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts, Gibbs becomes only the sixth driver to win in his first series start – matching a feat achieved by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt in 1982 and most recently, Kurt Busch, 15 years ago.
Gibbs becomes the youngest driver to win an NASCAR Xfinity Series road course event. At 18 years, four months, 16 days, he breaks the record held – ironically – by Cindric (20 years old).
By all measures, it was an emotional victory following an intense, exciting race on the 14-turn, 3.61-mile road course. Cindric led the most laps 29 of the 56 – but could not catch Gibbs in the end.
“I just cannot thank everybody right now, really this is like a dream come true for me, it’s just awesome,” said an emotional Gibbs, who turned his first ever laps in the car and made his first career pit stop Saturday evening.
“I really didn’t think I had it there,” he said of the intense racing at the end. “I fought back and we won.”
Gibbs teammates Daniel Hemric and Brandon Jones finished third and fourth, followed by Jeb Burton and another of the JGR family, Harrison Burton. Miguel Paludo, Brandon Brown, Justin Haley, and Jeremy Clements rounded out the top 10.
A victory for Cindric would have been his second in as many races in 2021 and he turned in an inspired drive back to the front to contend for the win. He and A.J. Allmendinger – another road course racing star – collided while running first and second heading to the Stage 1 checkered flag. Allmendinger’s car was badly damaged and he ran laps down the remainder of the race.
Cindric’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford was damaged as well, but the team made repairs and Cindric went to work. He returned to the race after multiple pit stops in 33rd place, but still on the lead lap. His road racing skills and the team’s strategy calls ultimately put him in position to contend for the win.
“Obviously I don’t want to be racing to a stage that aggressively, I’d love to see a replay and hopefully we can avoid something like that because obviously A.J. and I were going to be fighting for a win later,” Cindric said.
“I hated having that much damage to our PPG Ford Mustang that early. Just seemed like he was trying to block there, don’t know if he knew I was there or not. Sucks it’s over with and we salvaged a good finish. Congratulations to Ty.”
Gibbs grandfather, who owns the team, climbed down from the pit box and stood behind it to watch the final moments of the race. Clearly Ty Gibbs win was an emotional achievement for the entire family.
During a late race pit stop, the teenager Ty was asking his team for peanut butter crackers. An hour later, he was hoisting the biggest trophy of his young career.
“I don’t even know how to feel,” Gibbs said. “This is really hard for me to explain. After my uncle [JGR President JD Gibbs] passed away, it’s been hard for me. It’s just a dream come true. I’m just rambling. I’m excited. Mixed emotions for sure. This is just awesome.”
Of his tight-knit family, Gibbs again wiped tears.
“The family is everything to me, they do so much for me,” Gibbs said. “I just can’t thank them enough, this is just amazing; this is a dream come true. It’s all the man above, I’m sorry I’m a wreck I didn’t think this was going to happen at all. This is awesome, I can’t thank everybody enough watching and last week I had a terrible interview. I want to apologize for everybody, I just can’t thank everybody enough. This is just amazing.”
Following the second race of the season, Team Penske’s Austin Cindric holds the points lead by 24 markers over Joe Gibbs Racing’s Harrison Burton in second.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series races next Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Contender Boats 250 (4:30 p.m. ET on FS1 MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
On Sunday, the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 for the NASCAR Cup Series on the DAYTONA Road Course finishes out the NASCAR Tripleheader weekend on the DAYTONA Road Course, getting a 3 p.m. ET start (frontstretch gates open at 12:30 p.m.). The event will consist of 70 laps.
A limited number of tickets are still available with kids starting at only $10. To be a part of the action, fans can visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
All events will be conducted in accordance with enhanced safety protocols and procedures to provide a safe environment for guests, NASCAR competitors, employees and the local community. All guests will be screened before entering the facility and will be required to wear face coverings while maintaining six feet social distancing throughout their visit.
Monster Jam World Finals® Returns to Orlando This Weekend, Celebrates Monster Jam’s 30th Anniversary
ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The prestigious Monster Jam World Finals® returns to Orlando May 21 and 22, 2022. This two-day championship is the biggest event of the season and showcases the best trucks and drivers in Racing, Freestyle, High Jump and Skills competitions. This year’s World Finals XXI celebrates Monster Jam’s 30th Anniversary and Grave Digger’s 40th Anniversary. It offers the largest Pit Party of the year, where fans can meet the drivers, see the trucks up close and enjoy many other family-friendly activities–all included in the ticket price. Fans can purchase tickets for both days through Ticketmaster.com.
Fans get to watch jaw-dropping stunts from the drivers’ 1,500 horsepower, 12-feet tall, 12,000-pound monster trucks, including 12-time world champion Tom Meents, driver of the Max-D truck. World record holder Bari Musawwir, driver of the Zombie truck, also returns to compete in the Skills Competition.
In just in 7.5 days, Camping World Stadium’s gridiron field transformed into the World Finals dirt track with 7,500 yards and 22.5 million pounds of dirt. This year’s track includes a first-ever figure-eight over-under track that allows trucks to simultaneously jump over each other while racing. Fans not only get to enjoy over-the-top stunts, and thrilling fireworks, but they’ll be the very ones choosing the winner.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Duran’s HB 91 Passes in Tourism, Infrastructure, and Energy Subcommittee
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Source: Florida House of Representatives // Earlier today, HB 91 passed with unanimous bipartisan support in the Tourism, Infrastructure, and Energy Subcommittee. HB 91 provides DHSMV authority relating to the display & use of digital license plates and specifies requirements for digital license plates, digital license plate providers, & digital license plate consumers.
“Bringing digital license plates to Florida helps to pave the way into a more connected future. Florida has always been on the cutting-edge of technology and allowing the use of this technology can bring large-scale efficiency and savings to the over 17 million registered vehicles in our state. I am happy this bill was able to make it out of committee and is on its way to becoming law,” said Representative Nicholas X. Duran (D- Miami).
Having passed favorably, the bill has been referred to the Commerce Committee.
Tesla on Part-Automated Drive System Slams into Police Car
ORLANDO, Florida (AP) — A Tesla using its partially automated driving system slammed into a Florida Highway Patrol cruiser Saturday on an interstate near downtown Orlando and narrowly missed its driver, who had pulled over to assist a disabled vehicle.
Earlier this month, the U.S. government opened a formal investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot driving system after a series of similar collisions with parked emergency vehicles.
The trooper whose cruiser was hit shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday had activated his emergency lights and was on the way to the disabled vehicle when the Tesla hit the cruiser’s left side and then collided with the other vehicle, highway patrol spokeswoman Lt. Kim Montes told The Orlando Sentinel.
The report said the 27-year-old man in the Tesla and the driver of the disabled vehicle suffered minor injuries and the trooper was unhurt.
Tesla did not immediately respond to an email sent to its press address.
Autopilot has frequently been misused by Tesla drivers, who have been caught driving drunk or even riding in the back seat while a car rolled down a California highway.
The electric vehicle maker uses a camera-based system, a lot of computing power, and sometimes radar to spot obstacles, determine what they are, and then decide what the vehicles should do. But researchers say it has had trouble with parked emergency vehicles and perpendicular trucks in its path.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened the Tesla probe after tallying 11 crashes since 2018 in which Teslas on autopilot or cruise control have hit vehicles where first responders have used flashing lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board or cones warning of hazards.
In those crashes, 17 people were injured and one was killed, the NHTSA said. An investigation could lead to a recall or other enforcement action.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which also has investigated Tesla crashes, has recommended that NHTSA and Tesla limit the autopilot’s use to areas where it can safely operate. It also recommended that Tesla be required to improve its system to ensure drivers pay attention.
Last year the NTSB blamed Tesla, drivers and lax regulation by NHTSA for two collisions in which Teslas crashed beneath crossing tractor-trailers.
The crashes into emergency vehicles cited by NHTSA began on Jan. 22, 2018, in Culver City, California, near Los Angeles when a Tesla using autopilot struck a parked firetruck with flashing lights. No one was injured in that accident.