Ty Gibbs kept his race car off the wall and, in the end, put it in Victory Lane.
The Charlotte, North Carolina, managed to avoid spinning into the wall while battling for the lead with just under 40 laps to go, and then charged back to the front to win the General Tire 150 Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway.
In the process, Gibbs became the youngest winner in the track’s history at 17 years, nine months, seven days. He eclipsed the record set by Kyle Busch, who had just turned 18 when he won the ARCA Menards Series race at the 1.5-mile track in 2003.
Gibbs, the grandson of NASCAR and NFL Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs and a JGR development driver, took a page from "Rowdy’s" book when he saved the car from a potential race-ending wreck. Gibbs was attempting to fend off a charge from Michael Self on a restart following the second of two race breaks. When the two got together, the contact sent them sideways out of the groove — and out of the lead.
Once he got the No. 18 Monster/Terrible Herbst/ORCA Toyota righted, Gibbs was able to pick his way back to the front. He passed Bret Holmes — who had inherited the lead during the dust-up — and drove away to a win by 1.247 seconds.
It marked Gibbs’ second win in four ARCA Menards Series starts this year, and his seventh win across the ARCA Menards, East and West series over the last two seasons.
Friday’s victory also helped him rebound from one of his worst career finishes a week ago, when engine issues left him 15th at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis.
Holmes, who was chasing his first career win in 67 starts, instead had to settle for a career-best second-place.
Self wound up making his way back through as well to salvage a third-place run. It was his sixth straight top 10 to start the season. Sam Mayer and Drew Dollar were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Ryan Repko finished sixth, followed by Derek Griffith, Ryan Huff, Tanner Gray and Jason Kitzmiller.
Hailie Deegan, who entered the race second in points behind Self, was involved in an accident on Lap 77 after contact with Dollar while running fourth and finished 14th. That moved Holmes and Dollar to second in points, each 22 back of Self, and dropped Deegan to fourth. She is 24 points out of the lead.
The General Tire 150 aired live on FS1.
The ARCA Menards Series is right back at it Saturday, July 18, with the Shore Lunch 150 at Iowa Speedway. The seventh race of the championship season is also the third round of the Sioux Chief Showdown. The ARCA Menards Series race is live on MAVTV and streaming on TrackPass on NBC Gold.