While Joe Gibbs might be preparing for a pair of championship runs this weekend, the owner will be hashing out a driver incident, too. More specifically, a driver incident that involved his grandson Ty Gibbs.
Ty, who will compete for an Xfinity Series Championship this Saturday at Phoenix Raceway (6 p.m. ET, USA, NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM), came under scrutiny following a last-lap bump at Martinsville Speedway this past Saturday that sent Brandon Jones — a Joe Gibbs Racing teammate also vying for a championship berth — spinning on the final lap. Gibbs went on to win the race and claim his sixth Xfinity victory of the year. Jones, meanwhile, finished 23rd and was eliminated from playoff contention.
During a Zoom teleconference Tuesday afternoon, Joe discussed how he and the team are working through the incident.
“Yeah, I think what‘s happened there is we‘re working through all of that,” Joe said. “There‘s a lot to it. We‘re trying to — as a family and as a race team family, we‘re trying to work through every single part of that. We‘re still going through it because it isn‘t easy, everything that happened.
“We want to go about this the right way, and we are walking — I am, and our family is — with Ty as he walks through all of this.”
To Joe, the incident emphasized how every situation can be different, and as such, every incident must be looked at carefully. In the heat of the moment, Joe understood the reasoning behind everything happening at once. Even still, Joe believes the situation could have been handled better.
“I think that‘s it,” he said. “All of us certainly wish that it had never happened. We think the world of Brandon and his dad, J.R., so we‘re just kind of committed to, at this point, go through all of this and try and do it in the right way. That‘s what I think we‘re all focused on.”
While Joe might have navigated through difficulties before, none revolved around a difficulty involving his grandson, whom he has watched for 20 years.
Even as his grandson battles for a championship title, Joe and the team will work toward solving the problem as an organization and family.
“I think it‘s probably hard for me to even say,” Joe said. “I think it is definitely different, and I think everybody out there that‘s got kids and grandkids know the feelings, so that‘s all part of it.
“Sometimes that‘s not easy to kind of walk through all that, but I think it‘s just something that we have to — as a family and as a race team family, we have to just walk through this and try and go about it in the right way.”