Interstate Batteries Racing: Ty Gibbs Nashville Advance

Notes of Interest

 

Outrageously Dependable: Interstate Batteries – one of the most tenured team sponsors in NASCAR history – began its 32nd season as the founding sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) with an expanded presence that features the brand’s iconic green livery across all four of JGR’s NASCAR Cup Series entries. So far this season, Interstate has adorned the No. 20 of Christopher Bell at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway, and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Interstate served as co-primary sponsor for Ty Gibbs in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, and on Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota at Circuit of Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas in March. Interstate returned to Gibbs’ No. 54 Toyota at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in April and will adorn his car for back-to-back events starting this weekend at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway and next weekend (July 2) at the Inaugural Chicago Street Race. Interstate will serve as sponsor two more times for Gibbs late this season – the Sept. 24 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, and Oct. 8 on the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval.

 

● Prior to the inaugural Ally 400 at Nashville in 2021, 10 years had passed since NASCAR last competed at the 1.333-mile, concrete oval. It was a NASCAR Xfinity Series race on July 23, 2011 and it was won by Carl Edwards. The NASCAR Cup Series had never competed at the track until the 2021 Ally 400, but Cup Series teams tested there extensively years ago.

 

Rookie Stripe: This weekend marks Gibbs’ first opportunity to race on the Nashville concrete oval in a Cup Series car. He’ll start gaining valuable experience with a standalone practice session Friday evening. Gibbs has experienced a season not atypical of a rookie driver in NASCAR’s top series. He has four top-10 finishes so far, but many other strong runs that didn’t yield the results he might have deserved during the most recent stretch of races. Gibbs four top-10 finishes came in consecutive races during the spring. He brought home a ninth-place finishes at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, and Richmond (Va.) Raceway, and added a 10th-place finish in the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.  

 

Concrete Time: While this Sunday’s Cup Series race will be Gibbs’ debut in NASCAR’s top series at Nashville, he did make his Nashville debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series last year, when he started 14th and finished a solid fourth, leading four laps along the way.

 

● Gibbs heads to Nashville sitting 18th in the driver standings with 320 points. Gibbs is leading the Rookie of the Year standings by an impressive 177 points over second-place Noah Gragson.

 

● At the age of 19 years, 9 months and 20 days, Gibbs made his first career NASCAR Cup Series start last July 24 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway for 23XI Racing. He became the 37th driver younger than 20 years of age to make a Cup Series start. He started at the rear of the field but completed all 160 laps on his way to an impressive 16th-place finish. Best of his 15 Cup Series starts last year was his 10th-place result Aug. 7 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

 

Dazzling Debut: Gibbs was victorious in his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the February 2021 race on the Daytona road course. He led 14 of the 56 laps and became the youngest driver to win an Xfinity road-course race at 18 years, 4 months and 16 days. The native of Charlotte, North Carolina, also became the second-youngest winner in Xfinity Series history behind Joey Logano, who won in June 2008 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta at the age of 18 years, 21 days.

 

Ty Gibbs, Driver of the No. 54 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry TRD

 

What are your thoughts about racing for the first time in a Cup Series car this weekend at Nashville?

 

“I’m looking forward to Nashville. It’s a unique track at 1.33 miles and it’s concrete, so it can be challenging. I’ve competed in only one race there last year in Xfinity and finished fourth, so it will be interesting in the Cup car to see how it is. It’s a fun track and I’m hoping to keep learning like I do at every place we go this year. Great to have Interstate Batteries on board. They are the founding sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing and hopefully we can give them a good run.”

 

What does it mean to have Interstate Batteries on your car with the company’s significance in the history of Joe Gibbs Racing?

 

“Interstate Batteries means a lot to everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing. You just see all the pictures and highlights of the 1993 Daytona 500 and how excited everyone was, and also for a lot of other wins with them at JGR over the years. Norm (Miller, Chairman Emeritus), Scott (Miller, Chairman), Lain (Hancock, CEO/President) and everyone at Interstate Batteries have been a big part of Joe Gibbs Racing over all these years. It’s just really cool how they’ve been able to grow with us as the team grew over the years. It’s really an honor to be able to run an Interstate Batteries car every time we’ve been able to do it. I want to be able to continue to make those guys proud and appreciate all they’ve done for us over the years.”

 

You moved to the Cup Series this year and you seem to be getting more and more comfortable each week. How would you describe the experience?

 

“Taking that step from Xfinity to Cup was very beneficial, it really helped. There were some good decisions made by our group at JGR that the transition would be a bit better than it used to be. I’ve enjoyed it so far and I’m learning every week I go out there. The schedule itself is a lot busier but I love to race and I certainly would rather be racing more than less. It was nice to have the off weekend, but I’m a racer and I’m already looking forward to getting back to racing at Nashville.”

 

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