NASCAR driver Noah Gragson did not hold back Thursday when asked about fellow Xfinity Series competitor Ty Gibbs.
“I just don’t like him,” Gragson told reporters at Phoenix Raceway. “I’m speaking what everybody doesn’t want to say.”
— Dustin Long (@dustinlong) November 3, 2022
Gragson’s attitude could set up fireworks this Saturday when he and Gibbs race for the Xfinity Series championship at Phoenix. The two drivers will compete for the title with Justin Allgaier and Josh Berry, with the top-finishing driver taking home the series trophy.
Gibbs has inspired that kind of talk in the NASCAR community in recent days, following his controversial victory Saturday at Martinsville Raceway. He made contact with race leader and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brandon Jones on the final lap of overtime, sending Jones into the outside wall. A win would have clinched Jones a spot in the Championship 4 at Phoenix. Gibbs had already earned a berth earlier in the event.
Fans taunted Gibbs after the race, chanting, “Thank you, grandpa,” suggesting Gibbs wouldn’t have the high-powered ride without his relationship to team founder Joe Gibbs. And the 20-year-old Gibbs didn’t help matters Sunday when he used a Jesus analogy in explaining how he dealt with the boos.
Gragson pointed out Gibbs has used excuses after previous on-track incidents.
“I’m sick and tired of the ‘I’m sorry and I’m trying to learn’ deal,” Gragson said. “It’s been two years.”
“He doesn’t care. He lives in fantasy land.”
Things could get very interesting Saturday if these two are racing side by side with the championship in sight.
NASCAR fans generally seemed to come down on Gragson’s side on Twitter, but some pointed out that the rivalry is good for the sport.
The sport needs a whole lot more Noah's than it does Ty's.
— Carter Zero (Absolu1eZero) (@Absolu1eZero) November 3, 2022
Noah and Ty are both great for nascar! All the new CUP drivers have zero personality, except Chastain! These guys are going to make things interesting for years to come!
— Calvin the Great (@MichaelEnright7) November 3, 2022
Noah, and this is coming from a fan of his, has had plenty of moments over the last few years. I think him dumping Karam at RA was a turning point, he's done a lot of growing up since.
Ty is younger and can learn, but only if daddy & grandpa stop the coddling
— Alan Nadeau III (@alannadeau2016) November 3, 2022
Not really but as a JGR fan I have totally flipped my opinion on Ty and Noah over the course of this season. Now I think Noah is awesome and great for NASCAR. Ty Gibbs is everything that is wrong with NASCAR. I will be rooting for Josh Berry to win this championship.
— Tom Sears (@LurkinTomGaming) November 3, 2022
Ty is good for nascar. Villains are good. Good to root against him but don’t say he shouldn’t be in the sport or is what is wrong with it because that’s simply not true
— Tom (@thomasmckinley) November 3, 2022
I love Noah’s honesty but racing isn’t a popularity contest. Another competitor should t care if you like them or not. I wish Noah would focus on safety concerns with Ty’s behavior.
— Chris Wolfe (@ChrisWolfie14) November 3, 2022