Ty Gibbs impresses with runner-up finish at Darlington

    Darlington Raceway is traditionally a track that favors veterans, but one of the sport’s youngest stars proved that he has what it takes to tangle with the “Track Too Tough To Tame.” 

    A track that’s been in the business of terrifying race drivers since 1950, Darlington always lends itself to veteran drivers contending for the win. Ty Gibbs pushed that narrative aside on Sunday, leading 34 laps and finishing a career-best second behind race winner Brad Keselowski. 

    Sunday’s performance wasn’t a flash in the pan from Gibbs, however. The 21-year-old driver has been impressing all season and currently sits a comfortable 74 points above the playoff cutline halfway through the regular season. 

    Darlington marks Gibbs’ seventh top-10 finish of the season, as well as his fourth top-five. He’s also already doubled his amount of laps led from 2023, leading 235 through the first 13 races of the season, as opposed to 112 in all of 2023. 

    Gibbs has already proved his maturity as a driver multiple times this season, but Darlington might be the best example yet of how wise beyond his years Gibbs is in the driver’s seat. 

    He hardly ever wavered out of contention during Sunday’s race, and when Chris Buescher and Tyler Reddick tangled in the losing laps, Gibbs was opportunistic, capitalizing on the incident to take his day from a solid top-five to a fantastic runner-up result. 

    At a track as tough as Darlington, it’s easy for young drivers to start strong and then fall off considerably as the day goes on. That wasn’t the case for Gibbs on Sunday, as he was able to learn from Bristol and manage his tires to a tee, nearly winning Stage One before Kyle Larson snuck up to steal it from him. 

    Gibbs is likely disappointed to come up one spot short of a win, but his first victory is likely coming sooner rather than later. 

    Darlington may have a history of chewing up and spitting out inexperienced drivers, but Ty Gibbs found a way to tango with the “Lady In Black.”

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