The weekend has barely started and NASCAR‘s Xfinity Series race at Martinsville has already delivered more excitement than we know how to handle. Yes, Brandon Jones took the checkered flag after a slog of a short track race that saw countless cautions, two overtimes, and a big wreck to boot. But unfortunately for Jones, by the time everything was said and done, the spotlight found its way to Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer. The two former ARCA competitors came to blows under the Martinsville lights.
And when we say came to blows, we mean it. This wasn’t just a shove and some jawing back and forth, fists were flying. Well, Ty Gibbs’ were at least. The 19-year old racing phenom, grandson of NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs, was the only one who appeared to swing. Have a look for yourself.
Now, Sam Mayer can’t exactly be faulted for choosing to take Gibbs to the ground. The latter was still wearing his helmet, after all. But the scene following the Call 811 Before You Dig 250 was violent nonetheless.
How It Started
Aggressive driving was the root of the problem between Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer. And as easy as it is for us spectators to sit back and cheer at contact, it probably doesn’t feel good to lose the lead on the final lap, then get bumped into a logjam while attempting to make a winning move.
Instead of a top-three finish, Ty Gibbs ended the race in eighth after taking a hit from Sam Mayer’s No. 1 Chevy. Gibbs, unwilling to go quietly, ran into Mayer following the checkered flag, and the contact quickly shifted from bumpers to fists once the two hit pit road.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Drivers Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer Weigh In
“I tried to talk to him, and he got all in my face. At that point, we’ve got to start fighting. We got put in a bad position there. The only thing I’m mad about … He wasn’t going to get past the No. 16 there and I just got hit in the left rear. It’s just frustrating. I just got drove in the fence at the end,” Gibbs told Fox Sports following the race, per NBC Sports.
For Mayer, the aggressive move boiled down to money. That’s right. As one of the four eligible Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash drivers, Mayer stood to earn a $100,000 bonus for finishing ahead of the other three, Gibbs being one of them. It wasn’t quite that simple, of course. Mayer is a true competitor at the end of the day. You can watch the bruised 18-year old give his side of the story below.
“He threw a couple punches. They were weak, so I can’t say much about that. It’s kind of funny. I just put the bumper to him for $100 grand, and he got upset about it. But he’s been doing that to everyone else every week so far. I don’t understand how it can be that one-sided,” said Mayer.
Mayer has a point there, and one that Gibbs himself conceded following his contact with John Hunter Nemechek at Richmond last week. However you spin it, the post-race scuffle certainly added some drama to already exciting Friday night NASCAR action.