Ty Gibbs is in hot water after a reckless maneuver on pit road this past weekend at Texas Motor Speedway nearly ended in another driver hitting multiple bystanders who were working on a stopped car. Ty Dillon had just pulled out of his team’s pit stall, and after his No. 42 Camaro appeared to slightly bump Gibbs in the No. 23 Camry, Gibbs retaliated by slamming into Dillon’s right-side door panel. With several cars traveling close by at nearly 50 miles per hour, Gibbs’ aggressive move forced Dillon to brake hard and swerve so as to not hit any unaware crew members who were working on another car in pit road at the time.
In recent years, crew members’ and officials’ safety on pit road has become a major priority for the league, and in an effort to reinforce its stance and eliminate future potentially dangerous accidents, NASCAR fined Ty Gibbs $75,000 and docked him 25 driver Cup Series points. His team at Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing was also penalized 25 owner points, sending a stark warning to Race World USA that such behavior would not be tolerated.
Despite the substantial penalties incurred, some, including veteran driver and owner Brad Keselowski feel that NASCAR should deal Gibbs more severe sanctions. During an interview on NASCAR Race Hub, Keselowski revealed why it was such a dangerous situation, and didn't hold back.
“[Crew members and officials] nearly got run over,” Keselowski stated. "He's making mistakes on the biggest stage in our sport, and it's a really difficult situation. This goes to a bigger problem of why we don't really need teenagers at this level because this is not the place to learn those lessons."
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Filling in for the injured Kurt Busch in the No. 23 car, Gibbs, who’s the grandson of the legendary, three-time Super Bowl-winning NFL coach and NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs, is only 19 years old but already considered a rising star in the league.
Though Gibbs issued an apology for his role in the incident at Texas Motor Speedway, Keselowski, who made his NASCAR Cup Series debut at 25, believes that the league should go even further to address Gibbs’ actions in Texas.
"I think this penalty is not severe enough," Keselowski declared in his interview with NASCAR Race Hub. "I think we're to the point now where, when you have the body of work that Ty Gibbs has here, it's time to take a race off and send a strong message here, 'We're not doing this on pit road, guys.'”
“These people have families,” Keselowski continued. “They're exposed to being hit by a car at 50 mph. And it's not just crew members. It's officials too. This has to stop right now."
That “body of work” Keselowski’s referencing includes Gibbs brawling with Sam Mayer after the Martinsville Xfinity race April 9, as well as Gibbs bumping his fellow teammate John Hunter Nemechek out of the way in an Xfinity race one week earlier so Gibbs could finish first.
As the Round of 12 continues on with the next race at Talladega Superspeedway this Sunday Oct. 2, all eyes will undoubtedly be on Gibbs and how he interacts with the other drivers on the track.
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