While Kurt Busch had to sit out due to concussion symptoms, NASCAR up-and-comer Ty Gibbs is driving the No. 45 McDonald’s Toyota. Gibbs will race the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 will be the race. He’s one of the best drivers in the Xfinity Series at just 19 years old and has a great opportunity. Sometimes you can’t always plan out how your big debut will go. And, sometimes you don’t even know that it’s coming.
Say what you will about his grandfather being one of the biggest names in racing, this kid can drive a car. So, the 23XI team knew who they were going to go with when they had a car that needed a driver. Busch, who had a hard hit in qualifying, was going to have to drive in a backup car. Now, that backup will be driven by a backup.
What is really surprising about this decision is that it feels as though Gibbs’ entire career has been carefully planned out for him. This seems like a deviation from that plan. Still, given the circumstances, you couldn’t ask for a less stress-free debut. There are basically zero expectations.
With the driver change and the car change, the 45 started in the rear. Ty Gibbs and his team are planning on making it a learning experience. If he moves up, great. If not, he’s learning. Let’s not forget just how different these Next Gen cars are.
Ty Gibbs Gets Warm Welcome from 23XI
The No. 45 has a win on the year. Busch took the checkered flag at Kansas this season and has had a relatively good year. That wreck was just a tough setback. Of course, these NASCAR drivers know that things change on a dime. So, they’re ready for when it does. Bubba Wallace and the rest of the 23XI team have seemed to embrace their new temporary teammate.
So, how will Ty Gibbs do in the 45? He’s got a ton of talent and a solid car to work with. The 45 pit crew and 23 pit crew were switched out with one another. This was to give Wallace a more balanced and cohesive team to work with.