Hall of Fame NFL Coach’s Grandson To Race In Springfield Sunday

(AP Photo-Chris Szagola)

When your grandfather is in the National Football League Hall of Fame for winning three Super Bowls and four NFC Championships, it might be easy to feel a bit overshadowed by that fame.  When your NFL Hall of Fame grandfather starts a NASCAR Cup team in his post-NFL career and wins five NASCAR titles, the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400, that shadow grows bigger.  When your grandfather is inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, it would be easy to choose professions other than football or racing to escape the giant shadow.

But Ty Gibbs did choose to pursue his dream of becoming a topflight racing driver and with grandpa’s help is on the verge of adding an ARCA Menards’ title to the family’s five NASCAR Cup and two Xfinity titles.  At press time, Gibbs held a slim two-point lead over his closest rival Cory Heim heading into Sunday’s 59th Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

All Ty Gibbs wanted to do when he was younger was race.  It didn’t hurt that his grandfather had resources that could help him realize his dream.  But his father and car owner Coy Gibbs has taken a measured approach to his son’s career and not rushed his son up the stock car ladder.  In 2017 and 2018, Ty was given an opportunity to run short track late models in the CARS series and found modest success.  In 2019 he ran selected events in the ARCA Menard’s Series at age 16 and scored two wins.  In 2020 he ran a variety of ARCA Menard’s East, West, and National events.  He won once in the East Series and six times in the National series.  It looked as if he was ready to move up.

However, the Gibbs team and family decided not to push the young Gibbs along.  He turned 18 during the ARCA Allen Crowe 100 at Springfield in 2020 and while that made him eligible to run the big speedways, the family decided to run Ty Gibbs for the 2021 ARCA crown.  Gibbs appears to be laser focused on his drive for a title.

Gibbs has seven ARCA Menard’s victories in 2021, seven poles and has led nearly two-thirds of the laps in the 2021 season.  Along the way, he made his NASCAR Xfinity debut on the Daytona road course and won in his first ever NASCAR event.  He won two other Xfinity races along the way but remains committed to securing the ARCA title.

A win on the Illinois State fair dirt would help Gibbs in his drive for the ARCA Menard’s championship and add a dirt track victory to the driver’s and team’s resume.  Gibbs has two previous starts on the Springfield Mile.  In 2019 he started third and finished fifteenth while leading ten laps.  Last year Gibbs started second and finished tenth completing 93 of the 103 miles.

If Ty Gibbs can continue his current success, it won’t be long before he joins grandpa in a Hall of Fame.  Joining a Hall of Fame list of drivers who won the Allen Crowe 100 certainly couldn’t hurt his chances.

Practice begins at 10 a.m. on August 22 for the ARCA Menard’s Series, General Tire Pole Qualifying at 11:30 a.m. and the Allen Crowe 100 at 1:30.  The August 22 race will be televised by MAVTV and streamed via TrackPass.  Tickets are available by calling Track Enterprises at 217-764-3200, at the Illinois State Fair Box Office or by visiting your local central Illinois Menards store. 

The event is all part of a huge racing weekend in Central Illinois featuring Lincoln Speedway with MOWA Sprint Cars on Friday night, Silver Crown Saturday at the Springfield Mile, Jack Hewitt Night featuring POWRi Midgets at Macon Speedway Saturday night, and the ARCA Menards Series Sunday afternoon at the Springfield Mile.

Track Enterprises PR