This week, Great Lakes Post spoke with ARCA Menards Series Driver Ty Gibbs about his upcoming race in Madison.
How do you think your season is going?
I think the season is going pretty good. We’ve got a lot of second place finishes, which is good in some ways and bad in some ways. I think the season so far is going well. We got one win in the first race of the year, which gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year. Now, it’s time to get our first ARCA win.
How have you liked working with Joe Gibbs Racing?
I love working with Joe Gibbs Racing. They have so much stuff I can do to get me ready for the races. I have a lot of people I can talk to, a lot of data, it’s just a great deal.
Do you have any pressure on you because of your last name?
Yea, it depends. I definitely have a lot of pressure on me, but I kind of blow it off because I chose what I am doing.
How ready are you for Madison?
I’m very ready. I’ve been excited about that race since I left Toledo. I’m now getting more comfortable with the bigger ARCA car and more confident overall. I’m ready to move on to Madison.
What makes Madison unique in racing?
It’s just really short, and it takes a lot of tires. You’ll definitely have to conserve. It takes a lot of brakes more than anything because the corners are so sharp.
How did you first get into racing?
My grandpa took us up to a go-kart track, and we were out there racing. I just loved it. We started going to Millbridge Speedway (N.C.) after that, and that’s when I started getting my own kart. I started out in box kart driving for Mike McLaughlin. My cousin and I tested two karts, and then we quickly moved on to late models. It’s been really fast for the last couple of years. Everything moves by so slow when you’re a kid. Once you get into racing, everything blows by you, and you don’t have time to sit down and think about it.
What do you most like about short-track racing?
I like a lot about short-track racing. You have to keep the fenders on you because that is one of the essential parts to get around the track. You have to save your brakes and tires because when you go to mile-and-half tracks, you don’t have to use that much brake and it still takes tires. I think short-track racing is some of the hardest tracks you will ever race.
What does it take to win a race at Madison?
The car needs to be good on race runs. You have to get the car dialed in for the race, and yourself dialed in so you can get it done. All around, everything has to work correctly to get a win. It can’t just be this doesn’t work, and this doesn’t work, and you maybe get a win. That’s rare. Everything has to work. It’s teamwork.
What is it like working with Riley Herbst?
You know, I’ve literally seen Riley every day for the last four years. He’s kind of like my brother. He’s one of my best friends. We help each other a lot. We talk about what’s wrong and what we need, what I’m doing wrong, what he’s doing wrong and try to help each other.
How do you mentally prepare for a race?
It’s hard to tell people. When you first get into racing, you get really nervous, and you try to prepare yourself. As time goes on, the nerves go away, and you do the same thing you do every time. That helped me more than having nerves. Before I would get really nervous and if the practice didn’t go right, I would do badly in the race. Now it’s evolved, and I’ve gotten way better at that. You go out there and do what you do every weekend.
What has racing taught you?
Racing has taught me a lot of maturities. It has taught me to take it easy and be patient. You are racing with a bunch of guys that have done this for so long, and this is my first year going to a lot of these tracks. You can learn a lot off of them, but racing has matured me and made me more patient.
What are your goals for the season?
My goals this season are to get as much experience and as many wins as I can. Not necessarily championships because there aren’t any I can run for besides the Short Track Challenge in the ARCA Series. Just a lot of experience and wins is what I would ask for this year.