NASCAR championship contenders sound off ahead of championship race
This weekend, the 2022 NASCAR season comes to a close. Phoenix Raceway will host the finale for the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday and there’s a load of drama filled backstory ahead of the green flag.
4 Xfinity Contenders: Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, Ty Gibbs and Justin Allgaier.
Three of the four drive for JR Motorsports. Ty Gibbs enters the event as the lone Joe Gibbs Racing driver, which is certainly his own fault.
Ty Gibbs crashed teammate Brandon Jones spectacularly on the final lap of last week’s race at Martinsville Speedway. Jones is a teammate to Gibbs at JGR and Jones would have advanced into the championship race if he won. Toyota would have had 50% of the championship contenders.
Gibbs celebrated like nothing went wrong. Yet, the fans were vocal in their displeasure as they taunted Gibbs from the grandstands for the duration of the celebrations.
Ahead of the championship, the other drivers have used the opportunity to voice their opinion on the Toyota driver.
Ty Gibbs reflects after wrecking Brandon Jones
“You know, going back if I could redo it multiple times, I would,” Gibbs said.
“I’ve thought, I guess this scenario over millions of times, you know, and it’s hard for me because I have to live with it now. And it’s really hard, but we could have had two JGR cars, I guess, in the Championship 4, and I took that out.”
“I took 50% of Toyota’s championship and ours, JGR’s championship away for my selfish actions. So I have to move forward and do the best I can to work and to fix these things.”
“I just don’t want to be known as a dirty racer,” Gibbs said. “I want to be known as a class racer, and somebody who’s going to race hard, but not going to be dirty. And you know, I’ve been dirty and made my mistakes.
Gibbs added, “But the only thing I can do now is work forward to changing that perspective.”
Noah Gragson doesn’t like Ty Gibbs
Directly after the race at Martinsville, Gragson repeatedly called the No. 54 team the Ty Gibbs Racing team. He then corrected himself. The mistake was on purpose, in comedy.
“Just voicing my opinion, I don’t like him,” said Noah Gragson ahead of the championship race.
“It’s just speaking what everybody doesn’t want to say, but they feel it.”
Ty Gibbs noted multiple times that the move on Jones was an accident. It’s a similar tone to previous incidents this season.
“I just think like, I’m just sick and tired of the ‘I’m sorry, I’m trying to learn’ deal,” Gragson said. “Like it’s been two years. … Definitely over being – I think all of us – the pinball of this series from him.”
“He doesn’t care,” Gragson said of Gibbs potentially dialing back aggression for the championship race. “He lives in fantasy land.”
“I have no clue honestly what goes through his mind. God, it would be badass just to live in that kind of world where you just have no real consequences or anything.”
Gragson added, “I want to beat him straight up. It pisses him off a lot more.”