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Inside Move Gets Ty Gibbs Xfinity Series Win

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, March 20 2022

Ty Gibbs celebrates his victory in Atlanta on Saturday. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

HAMPTON, Ga. – Just when it appeared 10-year veteran driver Ryan Sieg was on the cusp of capturing the first win of his NASCAR Xfinity Series career, Ty Gibbs swept to the inside of the Tucker, Ga. competitor‘s No. 39 Ford on the final lap then fended off a double-wide, swarming packs of cars in his rear view mirror.

Saturday night’s triumph at Atlanta Motor Speedway was the 6th victory in just 23 career starts for the grandson of NFL coaching legend and longtime NASCAR team owner Job Gibbs. 

“I feel like if there’s a gap, you’ve got to take it,” Ty Gibbs said of his aggressive race-winning move. “I feel like these speedways are where we’ve struggled in the past. So, to win here it shows that we’ve improved.” 

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Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race resembled a Talladega event on the redesigned AMS, evidenced by tight packs of up to 15 to 20 trucks.

As the laps wound down, home state driver Chandler Smith paced a group of a dozen trucks all vying for the victory.

As the pack sailed off into Turn 1 on the final lap, Marietta, Ga. driver Corey Heim ducked to the inside of Smith and pulled alongside his Kyle Busch Motorsport teammate. 

Heim, making just his fifth career Truck Series, took advantage of a push from John Hunter Nemechek to draft past Smith then he went on to hold on for a popular win in the Fr8 208 at his home track, a facility where he cut his teeth racing on the frontstretch quarter-mile track.   

“There are so many things going through my head right now,” the 19-year-old Heim said. “I grew up 30 minutes from here and have been coming to this track since I was two years old to watch the Cup races.” 

“It’s still surreal. I grew up racing Legends here and I never thought my first (NASCAR) win would be here.” 

It was the fourth-career win as a crew chief for Mardy Lindley, the son of the late short track ace Butch Lindley. 

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On Thursday, Brandon Brown’s Xfinity Series hauler was spotted passing through Athens, Ga. and wound up parked overnight in nearby Oconee County. 

Athens, home to the University of Georgia, is 65 miles from Atlanta Motor Speedway. 

Rumors were flying in the Athens area as onlookers snapped photos of the hauler, posted them on social media and questioned why the hauler had veered off Interstate 85 and wound up 90 minutes from the site of this weekend’s NASCAR triple-header.

Much of the flurry of interest was driven by the fact Brown became somewhat of a celebrity last fall when he pulled off an upset victory in the Xfinity Series race at Talladega and fans serenaded him afterwards with “Let’s go, Brandon” chants (NBC interpretation) during his on-track, post-race interview. 

It turns out the hauler driver, Scott Thorpe, resides in Bishop, Ga. He had driven the hauler earlier in the day from the team’s shop in Mooresville, N.C.

Thorpe is an industry veteran. He’s driven tractor-trailers for ARCA and NASCAR teams for more than two decades. Thorpe has handled the hauler driving chores for teams owned by Ryan Sieg, Mark Gibson, Billy Ballew, Kerry Scherer, along with several others. 

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The most bizarre event of the young racing season occurred Saturday afternoon in Atlanta and had nothing to do with the action on the track. 

After Thad Moffitt made an early exit from the Xfinity Series race, the Reaume Brothers hauler driver attempted to exit the facility through the Turn 3 tunnel, better known as the “service tunnel.” 

It resulted in significant damage to the roof of the team’s hauler and left the rig sandwiched partially inside the tunnel. It took nearly 20 minutes for track personnel to rescue the driver and his battered trailer. 

Tall vehicles, such as tractor-trailers and motor coaches are required to enter and exit the facility through the larger tunnel located in the center of Turns 1 and 2 at AMS. 

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NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – 31st Annual Nalley Cars 250

Atlanta Motor Speedway

Hampton, Georgia

Saturday, March 19, 2022

  1. (4)  Ty Gibbs, Toyota, 172.
  2. (14)  Austin Hill #, Chevrolet, 172.
  3. (7)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 172.
  4. (24)  Riley Herbst, Ford, 172.
  5. (10)  Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 172.
  6. (26)  Mason Massey, Chevrolet, 172.
  7. (3)  Brandon Jones, Toyota, 172.
  8. (28)  Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 172.
  9. (13)  Sheldon Creed #, Chevrolet, 172.
  10. (9)  Ryan Sieg, Ford, 172.
  11. (21)  JJ Yeley, Ford, 172.
  12. (32)  Ryan Vargas, Chevrolet, 172.
  13. (19)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Toyota, 172.
  14. (16)  Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 172.
  15. (12)  Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 172.
  16. (27)  Anthony Alfredo, Chevrolet, 172.
  17. (35)  Shane Lee, Toyota, 172.
  18. (11)  Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 172.
  19. (17)  Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 172.
  20. (37)  Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 172.
  21. (15)  Sam Mayer, Chevrolet, 172.
  22. (36)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 172.
  23. (23)  Joe Graf Jr., Ford, 172.
  24. (31)  Kyle Sieg #, Ford, 172.
  25. (25)  Stefan Parsons, Chevrolet, 172.
  26. (1)  Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, 172.
  27. (38)  Jesse Iwuji #, Chevrolet, 172.
  28. (5)  Trevor Bayne, Toyota, 172.
  29. (20)  Bayley Currey, Chevrolet, 172.
  30. (22)  Myatt Snider, Chevrolet, 171.
  31. (33)  Matt Mills, Chevrolet, Accident, 165.
  32. (29)  Sage Karam, Chevrolet, Accident, 154.
  33. (2)  Josh Berry, Chevrolet, Accident, 153.
  34. (6)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, Accident, 152.
  35. (8)  Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, Accident, 113.
  36. (34)  Loris Hezemans(i), Toyota, Accident, 112.
  37. (18)  Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, Accident, 106.
  38. (30)  Jade Buford, Chevrolet, Accident, 105.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  101.454 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 36 Mins, 39 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.178 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  10 for 56 laps.

Lead Changes:  11 among 10 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   N. Gragson 1-25;B. Jones 26;N. Gragson 27-39;J. Berry 40-42;A. Allmendinger 43-83;S. Creed # 84-98;T. Bayne 99-100;M. Snider 101-102;T. Bayne 103-138;A. Hill # 139-165;R. Sieg 166-171;T. Gibbs 172.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  AJ Allmendinger 1 time for 41 laps; Trevor Bayne 2 times for 38 laps; Noah Gragson 2 times for 38 laps; Austin Hill # 1 time for 27 laps; Sheldon Creed # 1 time for 15 laps; Ryan Sieg 1 time for 6 laps; Josh Berry 1 time for 3 laps; Myatt Snider 1 time for 2 laps; Brandon Jones 1 time for 1 lap; Ty Gibbs 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 8,9,7,1,18,21,27,68,19,02

Stage #2 Top Ten: 16,11,48,45,44,2,68,21,27,10

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NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – 14th Annual Fr8 208

Atlanta Motor Speedway

Hampton, Georgia

Saturday, March 19, 2022

  1. (19)  Corey Heim #, Toyota, 135.
  2. (15)  Ben Rhodes, Toyota, 135.
  3. (4)  Ty Majeski, Toyota, 135.
  4. (1)  Chandler Smith, Toyota, 135.
  5. (25)  Zane Smith, Ford, 135.
  6. (2)  Stewart Friesen, Toyota, 135.
  7. (11)  Ryan Preece, Ford, 135.
  8. (9)  Tanner Gray, Ford, 135.
  9. (18)  Derek Kraus, Chevrolet, 135.
  10. (7)  Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, 135.
  11. (10)  Tyler Ankrum, Toyota, 135.
  12. (8)  Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, 135.
  13. (22)  Jack Wood #, Chevrolet, 135.
  14. (20)  Chase Purdy, Toyota, 135.
  15. (34)  Jesse Little, Chevrolet, 135.
  16. (16)  Christian Eckes, Toyota, 135.
  17. (29)  Chris Hacker, Toyota, 135.
  18. (33)  Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 135.
  19. (31)  Matt Jaskol, Toyota, 135.
  20. (30)  Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 134.
  21. (21)  Kris Wright, Chevrolet, 134.
  22. (23)  Timmy Hill, Toyota, 134.
  23. (36)  Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, Tire, 133.
  24. (12)  John Hunter Nemechek, Toyota, 133.
  25. (3)  Matt Crafton, Toyota, 133.
  26. (26)  Colby Howard, Chevrolet, 133.
  27. (5)  Carson Hocevar, Chevrolet, 132.
  28. (35)  Brennan Poole(i), Toyota, 130.
  29. (32)  Blaine Perkins #, Chevrolet, 126.
  30. (6)  Matt Dibenedetto, Chevrolet, 123.
  31. (17)  Tate Fogleman, Toyota, Accident, 91.
  32. (28)  Thad Moffitt, Chevrolet, Engine, 79.
  33. (24)  Lawless Alan #, Chevrolet, Accident, 75.
  34. (13)  Dean Thompson #, Chevrolet, Accident, 68.
  35. (14)  Matt Mills(i), Chevrolet, Suspension, 52.
  36. (27)  Hailie Deegan, Ford, Tire, 24.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  109.182 mph.

Time of Race:  1 Hrs, 54 Mins, 15 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.173 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  7 for 40 laps.

Lead Changes:  18 among 10 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   S. Friesen 1-33;M. Crafton 34;C. Eckes 35-37;S. Friesen 38-50;J. Nemechek 51-56;C. Smith 57;T. Majeski 58;J. Nemechek 59-63;S. Friesen 64-66;G. Enfinger 67-80;R. Preece 81-84;C. Heim # 85-97;B. Rhodes 98-105;C. Heim # 106;B. Rhodes 107;C. Heim # 108-114;C. Smith 115-134;C. Heim # 135.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Stewart Friesen 3 times for 49 laps; Corey Heim # 4 times for 22 laps; Chandler Smith 2 times for 21 laps; Grant Enfinger 1 time for 14 laps; John Hunter Nemechek 2 times for 11 laps; Ben Rhodes 2 times for 9 laps; Ryan Preece 1 time for 4 laps; Christian Eckes 1 time for 3 laps; Ty Majeski 1 time for 1 lap; Matt Crafton 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 52,23,19,98,88,15,18,41,4,16

Stage #2 Top Ten: 4,66,18,98,16,88,40,15,42,17

 

 

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, March 20 2022
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