Ty Gibbs held off road course specialists AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric on multiple late restarts to win the Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200 at Watkins Glen International Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
“It’s super cool to win here,” Gibbs said. “To win on a track that Graham Hill, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, [and] Tony Stewart [have won on], It’s awesome. It means a lot. It’s just super cool, and I feel like it hasn’t set in yet”.
Gibbs showed to be the dominant car throughout the 82-lap shootout on the 2.45-mile road course, but the win by no means came easy. The 18-year-old needed to stave off Cindric and Allmendinger, both past winners at The Glen, to score his third win of the season and his second on a road course.
“Ty [Gibbs] did a fantastic job,” Allmendinger, the second-place finisher said. “He raced me clean with great moves. I was doing everything I could to defend. He was smart, he didn’t use me up, and he made a clean pass”.
Gibbs held the lead going into each of the final two restarts, but surrendered the lead to Allmendinger both times after choosing to take the inside lane. However, Gibbs was still the faster car in dirty air and got by Allmendinger with moves through turns five and six.
“I got knocked up once [on the outside lane], and you can lose a lot of time,” Gibbs said as to why he chose the bottom on restarts. “Just no grip [on the top], it’s just wheel spin, so we went on the bottom to get some grip through the short chute before you go to the right-hander”.
Cindric was unable to defend his title from 2019 at The Glen, but settled for 3rd place and a stage one victory after leading 22 laps.
“I ran [Gibbs] wide in turn one to take the lead, he ran me wide in turn six to take the lead,” Cindric said on his battle with Gibbs. “[Gibbs] deserved to win, he was the fastest car. I feel like when he had to save fuel, he saved a bit in his tires and I was trying to catch up, but maybe I should’ve played that a little bit different”.
Many of the leaders pit at lap 50 for their final stop of the day and planned to stretch out the final 32 laps by saving fuel. However, two late-race cautions involving an apparent brake failure of Erik Jones’s No. 31 car and an electrical fire in Kyle Weatherman’s No. 47 car allowed drivers to save enough fuel to go full throttle in the waning laps of the race.
Justin Allgaier and Harrison Burton rounded out Saturday’s top-5, with Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson, Jeb Burton, Justin Haley, and Sam Mayer rounding out the top-10.
As it stands, Cindric and Allmendinger are 1-2 in the Xfinity Series points with six races remaining in the regular season. Daniel Hemric is third, with Allgaier and H. Burton fourth and fifth, respectively.
The series will travel to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course next weekend. Chase Briscoe won last season’s event at the track, the first time NASCAR ever ran the road course. Next weekend’s race will be one of the events in a doubleheader weekend with IndyCar.