Interstate Batteries Racing: Ty Gibbs Nashville Superspeedway Advance

LAT Images #54: Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing, Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry

● Outrageously Dependable for 33 Years and Counting: Interstate Batteries has 11 primary sponsorships on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule in 2024, a similar number of schemes to last year’s expanded presence among all four JGR Toyota Camry XSEs. The Ally 400 is the third of four primary sponsorships on Ty Gibbs’ No. 54 Camry this season. Christopher Bell and Gibbs will run the majority of the Interstate Batteries races with eight primaries in all between the two drivers. Martin Truex Jr. will carry a primary Interstate Batteries sponsorship for one race on the No. 19 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in July during his final season as a fulltime Cup Series driver.

● Prior to the inaugural Ally 400 at Nashville in 2021, 10 years had passed since NASCAR last competed at the 1.333-mile, concrete oval. It was a NASCAR Xfinity Series race on July 23, 2011 and it was won by Carl Edwards. The NASCAR Cup Series had never competed at the track until the 2021 Ally 400 with this weekend’s race being the fourth edition with NASCAR’s top series at the track located some 40 minutes east and south of downtown Nashville.

● No Sophomore Slump for Gibbs: This weekend marks Gibbs’ second opportunity to race on the Nashville concrete oval in a Cup Series car, as he brought home a 14th-place finish in his debut there last season. So far in 2024, Gibbs has had a strong season, bringing home one pole, four top-five finishes and eight top-10s over the first 18 races while leading 309 total laps. He is fighting to make the Cup Series Playoffs for the first time in just his second season.

● Concrete Time: While Gibbs has only made one Cup Series start at Nashville, he’s had strong runs in his two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the track. He brought home a fourth-place finish there in his Xfinity debut there in 2022. Last year, he led 28 laps before an accident ended his day early.

● Gibbs heads to Nashville 11th in the driver standings with 499 points, 121 behind series leader Kyle Larson. All four JGR entries are currently inside the top-11 in points heading to the 19th race of the season. Denny Hamlin sits third in the standings with Truex fourth, Christopher Bell sixth, and Gibbs 11th with eight races remaining in the regular season for the Team Interstate contingent.

● At the age of 19 years, 9 months and 20 days, Gibbs made his first career NASCAR Cup Series start on July 24, 2022 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway for 23XI Racing. He became the 37th driver younger than 20 years of age to make a Cup Series start. He started at the rear of the field but completed all 160 laps on his way to an impressive 16th-place finish.

● Dazzling Debut: Gibbs was victorious in his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the February 2021 race on the road course at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. He led 14 of the 56 laps and became the youngest driver to win an Xfinity Series road-course race at 18 years, 4 months and 16 days. The native of Charlotte, North Carolina also became the second-youngest winner in Xfinity Series history behind Joey Logano, who won in June 2008 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta at the age of 18 years, 21 days. 

Ty Gibbs, Driver of the No. 54 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry XSE

What are your thoughts about racing this weekend at Nashville?

“I’m looking forward to Nashville. It’s a unique track at 1.33 miles and it’s concrete, so it can be challenging. I’ve competed in a couple of Xfinity races there and finished fourth two years ago. And we didn’t get the finished we deserved in my first Cup race there last year. It’s a fun track and I’m hoping to keep learning like I do at every place we go this year. Great to have Interstate Batteries on board. They are the founding sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing and hopefully we can give them a good run.”

How important is qualifying at Nashville?

“I think it’s important, but not as important as it is at some other places we race at, like Iowa a few weeks ago as an example. You get a little more room at Nashville to move around and spread out and makes passes, so you are able to move up through the field if you don’t get the qualifying lap you wanted. I get to run both races there this weekend, with He Gets Us on the Xfinity car there Saturday, and I’m hoping those extra laps will help us on Sunday with our Interstate Batteries Camry.”

What’s the most challenging part of racing at Nashville?

“I think backing up your corner entry and trying to drive your car in deeper, so keeping the entry backed up and getting a good run off a corner and keeping your momentum is very important there in qualifying and during the race.”

Interstate Batteries has been with JGR since Day 1. How special is that to carry those colors anytime, but also in particular at Nashville this weekend?

“It’s really cool to think about how long Interstate Batteries has been with our team. They were with this team before I was born, and to be able to be on my car with the relationship they’ve had with my grandfather for so many years. I think it would be really fitting to get my first win in an Interstate Batteries car and we’re going to give it our best shot again this weekend in Nashville.”

You are still chasing your first Cup Series win. How beneficial was it to get seat time with 23XI back in 2022 before your full rookie season with JGR in 2023 to get you to where you are running up front and contending?

“It was really beneficial. You don’t get much time in the Cup car now with limited practice and testing, so just more seat time was huge for me. Beyond that, I think my team and my crew chief have done a great job the last couple of years of just helping me along and helping me learn each and every week. All those things add up, and hoping we can turn that into a victory.”

● Event: Ally 400 (Round 19 of 36)

●  Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, June 30

●  Location: Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway

●  Layout: 1.333-mile, concrete oval  

●  Laps/Miles: 300 laps/399 miles

●  Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 90 laps / Stage 2: 95 laps / Final Stage: 115 laps

●  TV/Radio:  NBC / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio


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