Ty Gibbs took no prisoners Saturday with a race-winning transfer that dramatically altered the composition of the NASCAR Xfinity Sequence Championship 4 discipline.
On the ultimate lap of the third try at time beyond regulation, Gibbs rammed soon-to-be-ex-teammate Brandon Jones so laborious the contact buckled the hood of Gibbs No. 54 Toyota.
The contact despatched Jones, who had taken the lead on the earlier lap, into the surface wall in Turns 1 and a couple of, and Gibbs had the lead when NASCAR known as the 14th warning of the race due to wreck.
By then Gibbs already had clinched one of many two remaining spots within the Championship 4 Spherical, however the bulldozing transfer disadvantaged Jones of a possibility to race for the collection title subsequent Saturday at Phoenix Raceway.
As a refrain of boos rained down from the grandstand, Gibbs was unapologetic for that tactic that made him a race winner for the sixth time this season, for the primary time at Martinsville and for the tenth time in 50 Xfinity Sequence begins.
“It was undoubtedly not a clear transfer, for certain,” Gibbs mentioned. “I undoubtedly didn’t need to wreck him, however I undoubtedly needed to maneuver him out of the groove so I may go win. I felt like we misplaced the spring race getting moved by him.
“He’s my teammate, however undoubtedly need to get the win right here. It’s vital to get the win. And now we’re going to the championships. It’s cool. Hopefully, I don’t get hit by any cans or something proper right here.
“We bought moved out of the best way earlier this 12 months so, it’s a part of it.”
Jones gained the pole and led 98 laps to Gibbs 102, however completed twenty third, the final driver on the lead lap.
“I do know Ty sufficient to the place I do know he doesn’t care about what he did,” mentioned Jones, who will transfer to JR Motorsports subsequent season. “He’s just about, properly—he wasn’t ‘just about’—he was locked into the following spherical. So actually, what did that do?
“I don’t actually perceive the transfer. I perceive making an attempt to get aggressive—you need to win the race. However to only destroy the race automotive, I don’t see it. I don’t get any satisfaction from it. Perhaps he does. Perhaps he likes to win that manner? However I by no means have and by no means felt sturdy about racing that manner. So, we’ll simply take it and go for it.”
Jones’ misfortune elevated veteran Justin Allgaier, his soon-to-be-teammate at JR Motorsports into the ultimate Championship 4 berth. Jones wanted a victory to say the spot, however Allgaier was able to advance on factors, which he did by 12 factors over Common Season Champion AJ Allmendinger.
Allgaier completed fifth and Allmendinger sixteenth after contact between their vehicles reduce Allmendinger’s left rear tire because the drivers performed bumper tag and swapped positions throughout the closing levels of the race. Allgaier was joyful to advance however lower than thrilled with the best way it occurred.
“I can’t even describe it,” Allgaier mentioned. “It’s disappointing that it’s gotten to the purpose the place it’s—sadly simpler to drive via any individual than it’s to cross them. Actually happy with our crew. We by no means gave up till the checkered flag fell. Had a ton of harm proper there (from a collision on Lap 262 within the second time beyond regulation) however made it to the ultimate spherical.”
After the race, Allmendinger sought Allgaier out on pit street and congratulated him.
“You get all the way down to the top, (Allmendinger) was pushing fairly laborious,” Allgaier mentioned. “He selected to run into us sufficient occasions that you just get to the purpose the place you must go for it. He knew when he turned again left that we had been going to hit.
“I hate it for these guys. I don’t know if we may have run 25 laps battling as laborious as we did there on the finish. They’ve had an important season. We’ve had an important season. It’s simply so laborious in relation to the final race, particularly at a spot like Martinsville.”
Gibbs and Allgaier will race for the collection championship at Phoenix towards Josh Berry and Noah Gragson, who earned their spots within the Championship 4 with respective victories at Las Vegas and Homestead-Miami within the Spherical of 8.
Non-Playoff drivers Sheldon Creed and Riley Herbst completed second and third after the late-race melee, adopted by the JR Motorsports trio of Gragson, Allgaier and Sam Mayer. Nick Sanchez, Daniel Hemric, Austin Hill and Blaine Perkins accomplished the highest 10.
Together with Allmendinger and Jones, Hill and Mayer had been eradicated from the Playoffs.