Interstate Batteries Racing: Ty Gibbs Chicago Street Race Advance

Ty Gibbs
Chicago Street Race Advance
No. 54 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry TRD for Joe Gibbs Racing

Event Overview

● Event: Grant Park 220 (Round 18 of 36)

● Time/Date: 5:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 2

● Location: Chicago Street Course

● Layout: 2.2-mile, 12-turn street course

● Laps/Miles: 100 laps/220 miles

● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 20 laps / Stage 2: 25 laps / Final Stage: 55 laps

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

Notes of Interest

● Outrageously Dependable: Interstate Batteries – one of the most tenured team sponsors in NASCAR history – began its 32nd season as the founding sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) with an expanded presence that features the brand’s iconic green livery across all four of JGR’s NASCAR Cup Series entries. So far this season, Interstate has adorned the No. 20 of Christopher Bell at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, and served as co-primary with Gibbs in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and on Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota at Circuit of Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, in March. Interstate returned to Gibbs’ No. 54 Toyota this past weekend at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, where he brought home a 14th-place finish. Including this weekend at the inaugural Chicago Street Race, Interstate will adorn his car three more times this season, which also includes Sept. 24 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, and Oct. 8 on the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval.

● The inaugural Grant Park 220 on the streets of downtown Chicago will mark the first street-course race in the NASCAR Cup Series’ 75-year history. Drivers will speed past some of the city’s most renowned landmarks, from Michigan Avenue to South Lake Shore Drive, with the start/finish line near Buckingham Fountain.

● “Saturday in the Park:” Qualifying for the Grant Park 220 takes place on Saturday, and it’s where Sunday’s 100-lap race around the 2.2-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit could very well be won. Track position will be paramount, as those starting up front are far more likely to stay up front.

● Gibbs heads to Nashville sitting 18th in the driver standings with 343 points. Gibbs is leading the Rookie of the Year standings by an impressive 189 points over second-place Noah Gragson.

● Rookie Stripe: Gibbs has experienced a season not atypical of a rookie driver in NASCAR’s top series. He has four top-10 finishes so far, but many other strong runs that didn’t yield the results he might have deserved during the most recent stretch of races, including last weekend at Nashville. Gibbs’ four top-10 finishes came in consecutive races during the spring. He brought home ninth-place finishes at Atlanta Motor Speedway, COTA, and Richmond (Va.) Raceway, and added a 10th-place finish in the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

● At the age of 19 years, 9 months and 20 days, Gibbs made his first career NASCAR Cup Series start last July 24 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. Best of his 15 Cup Series starts last year was his 10th-place result Aug. 7 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

● Dazzling Debut: Gibbs was victorious in his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the February 2021 race on the Daytona road course. He led 14 of the 56 laps and became the youngest driver to win an Xfinity 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 TRD

What are your thoughts about racing in Chicago in the NASCAR Cup Series’ first-ever street race?

“Chicago will be interesting. No one has been on the track since they are just building it now and nobody has raced a street circuit in a Cup Series car. Lot of unknowns, for sure. We’ll see what we can do with our Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry TRD. Hopefully we can run well. Just going to have to be patient and learn as much as we can in the small bit of track time that we’ll have.”

You have had some time to get used to each track during your rookie season, but how does it change now as you are close to being in the playoffs on points? How will you approach trying to get in the field of 16 nine races from now?

“It’s been good. The whole season has been special and I learn each and every week. Just got to get my Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry in a good position and try to limit our mistakes as much as possible and get the most points we can each and every week. First off all, you just need to enjoy it. Not a lot of guys get to do what we get to do each week and you have to remind yourself of the bigger picture. You just take it week after week and keep working. I’m looking forward to Chicago, which will be the next challenge. I’m really looking forward to the next couple of races and we’ll keep working at it and try to work as hard as we can.”

Has it been fun to have Interstate Batteries along with you several times this year, including back-to-back weeks at Nashville and Chicago?

“It’s really an honor to be able to run an Interstate Batteries car every time we’ve been able to do it. We had a fun weekend in Nashville last weekend. We had Lain (Hancock, President/CEO) with us at the track, and I always enjoy talking with him and their guests. We were able to get a top-10 for them at Bristol Dirt, which was really cool. I thought we had a good shot at another top-10 for them at Nashville last weekend, but that didn’t end up how we had hoped there on the last pit stop and run of the race. Chicago will be interesting, and you never know what’s going to happen, but I would love to get another good run for those guys.”

No. 54 Interstate Batteries Team Roster

Primary Team Members

Driver: Ty Gibbs

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Chris Gayle

Hometown: Little Rock, Arkansas

Car Chief: Nate Bellows

Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont

Spotter: Tony Hirschman

Hometown: Northampton, Pennsylvania

Race Engineer: Seth Chavka

Hometown: Soldotna, Alaska

Race Engineer: Kyle Abrahims

Hometown: Spring Grove, Pennsylvania

Road Crew Members

Truck Driver: Chris Miko

Hometown: Bronx, New York

Mechanic: Ryan Towles Hometown: Salem, Virginia

Mechanic: Scott Eldridge

Hometown: Warsaw, Indiana

Truck Driver: Eloy Trevino

Hometown: Adrian, Michigan

Mechanic/Tire Specialist: Justin Peiffer

Hometown: Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Over-The-Wall Crew Members

Gas Man: Peyton Moore

Hometown: Buford, Georgia

Jackman: Derrell Edwards

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

Tire Carrier: Jake Holmes

Hometown: Westborough, Massachusetts

Front Tire Changer: Blake Houston

Hometown: Enochville, North Carolina

Rear Tire Changer: Mike Hicks

Hometown: China Grove, North Carolina

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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