Ty Gibbs set for Xfinity Series return in star-studded Charlotte race

Ty Gibbs set for Xfinity Series return in star-studded Charlotte race

Editor’s note: Saturday’s Xfinity Series race was postponed due to weather and rescheduled for Monday at 11 a.m. ET (FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

In 13 races as a rookie NASCAR Cup Series driver this season, Ty Gibbs has three finishes of ninth as his best efforts so far.

On Monday, however, Gibbs returns to the NASCAR Xfinity Series — where he won seven times last year — to race in the Alsco Uniforms 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Noon ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

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Gibbs won‘t have a smooth path to Victory Lane. He‘ll have to beat Kyle Busch, who is driving the No. 10 Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing in his third Xfinity Series start of the season.

Busch has an enviable Xfinity Series record at Charlotte, to say the least — nine victories, 19 top fives and 22 top 10s in 26 starts at the 1.5-mile track.

Additionally, the Cup interlopers have an advantage in recent seat time. Xfinity regulars have raced only once so far this month, on May 13 at Darlington. John Hunter Nemechek, a two-time Xfinity winner this year, hopes that won‘t be a deterrent.

“Charlotte is always a fun weekend, being our home track and being able to have friends and family come out,” said Nemechek, who leads the series by one point over Austin Hill. “I‘m really excited about the race.

“It has been a little strange only having one race so far this month, but we‘ve been meeting, and in the sim (simulator) trying to stay sharp and be ready for this stretch of races that we‘re about to hit this summer. Hopefully, we can get this stretch off to a good start.”

Defending race winner Josh Berry likewise is looking for an upswing. Prolific winners last year, the JR Motorsports drivers are still seeking their first victory of 2023. Berry gave JRM its first Charlotte win last season after an intense battle with teammate Justin Allgaier.

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“Winning last year was incredible after that duel with Justin, and I was really happy to earn JRM‘s first win at Charlotte,” Berry said. “Our intermediate program has been on the upswing for the past couple of years, and we are coming in here confident that the Tire Pros Chevrolet will be at the front.

“I‘m happy with the consistency, but we really need to get a win, and this is the place and weekend to do it.”