Three days after Ty Gibbs won in his NASCAR Xfinity Series début, he will have fourteen more races on his plate in 2021. On Tuesday, Joe Gibbs Racing announced the rest of the Xfinity races that the owner’s grandson will run for the season, including all but one of the upcoming road course races. His second race in JGR’s #54 Toyota Supra will come on 13 March at Phoenix Raceway.
The new ARCA Menards Series full-timer quickly made waves in his maiden Xfinity start on Saturday at the Daytona road course, holding off reigning champion Austin Cindric in overtime to become just the sixth driver ever to win in his Xfinity début. Unlike the five before him, Gibbs is the only one with no Cup Series experience prior to racing at the Xfinity level, and at 18 years of age, he became the series’ youngest road course winner.
After Ty Dillon, who drove the #54 in the season opener on the Daytona oval, runs the next two races at Homestead and Las Vegas, Gibbs will be back in at Phoenix. He won in his ARCA Menards Series West début at the track in 2019 and dominated the 2020 ARCA national race there from the pole before finishing third, followed by finishing runner-up in the West finale. The ARCA Menards Series will serve as a support event the previous day. Martin Truex Jr., one of JGR’s Cup drivers, takes over for Atlanta.
Gibbs’ next race is on 9 April at Martinsville Speedway. While he has never raced on the Virginia short track in ARCA or NASCAR, he has late model experience via competing in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300. Dillon returns the following week at Talladega.
Darlington Raceway and Dover International Speedway on 8 and 15 May will mark Gibbs’ first consecutive Xfinity races. He has never raced at Darlington, while he dominated the ARCA Menards Series East race at Dover in 2020 after starting the pole before being caught in a late wreck; the Dover race would be Gibbs’ lone non-top five of that year’s ARCA East campaign as he finished second in points.
Following another week off as Cup driver Kyle Busch runs the Circuit of the Americas event, Gibbs runs the Charlotte Motor Speedway race on 29 May; he has no prior experience at the 1.5-miler but ARCA is scheduled to race there during the weekend. Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on 5 June marks his second road race, and he is also running the previous day’s ARCA event there.
Busch returns to the car for the next two dates at Texas and Nashville before Gibbs comes back for 27 June’s Pocono Raceway event. He won the ARCA race in 2020 after leading 65 of 80 laps, and the series will have its own support round two days prior.
The rest of the summer will be a road course-heavy slate as his next three events are at Road America (3 July), Watkins Glen International (7 August), and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (14 August). While he is unfamiliar with the Indianapolis RC and has not raced at Road America in a stock car, he finished nineteenth in the Trans-Am Series TA2 race at the latter in August 2020; incidentally, among his opponents in the race were fellow Xfinity drivers Riley Herbst and Sam Mayer, and JGR team-mate Harrison Burton. Gibbs also finished fourth in his lone ARCA East race at The Glen in 2019, and the track will also be on the 2021 ARCA Menards schedule. Busch was initially scheduled to run the Road America event, which is new to the Cup calendar.
Michigan International Speedway (21 August) and Richmond Raceway (11 September) are new stops for Gibbs, though the former is on the ARCA calendar and will be his first Xfinity oval race in nearly two months. In the playoffs, he will run the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (9 October) and Kansas Speedway (16 October) races; like the oval, he has never raced on the Roval, while he finished fourteenth in his lone ARCA Menards start at Kansas in 2020. Kansas also serves as the ARCA season finale.
With Busch exhausting his eligibility and Truex and Denny Hamlin making one-off starts (the latter at Darlington), drivers for the other playoff dates—which Cup drivers are barred from entering—were not revealed. However, unless Gibbs’ schedule receives another increase, Dillon will likely take over as he has declared for Xfinity points.
“Winning this past weekend in Daytona was really a dream come true for me,” Gibbs stated in a team release. “I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel again. I know I still have a lot to learn, but I have great teams behind me in both ARCA and Xfinity and I’m so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with all of them. I’m just really excited for the rest of the year.”
While not a full-time driver, Gibbs’ fifteen-race schedule is enough to qualify him for Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year contention.