Photo: Meg Oliphant/Getty Images via NASCAR

Ty Gibbs Out at Phoenix Due to Father’s Passing, Hemric to Substitute

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

AVONDALE, Ariz. – Ty Gibbs will not participate in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series season finale at Phoenix due to the passing of his father, Coy Gibbs

Coming a day after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship on the one-mile oval, Gibbs was preparing to complete his relief driving duties for 23XI Racing when the news broke that the 20-year-old would not be in the car. Just prior to the start of the race, Joe Gibbs Racing confirmed that Coy, 49, had passed away in his sleep overnight.

Following Gibbs’ championship win on Saturday, his father noted how proud he was of his son overcoming the trials and tribulations of the past week to be able to capture the Xfinity Series title.

“I’m definitely proud of him. I mean, I’ve always got his back as his father,” Coy said afterwards.

“Obviously it’s heartbreaking to go through tough stuff and watch — it’s actually more heartbreaking to watch him go through it…to see a kid hurting — and he knows he screwed up; and to go through all that, it’s tough. It’s tough as a parent for sure.

“Watching it today, yeah, just to see his determination. I think he’s got skills and he’s determined. It definitely made me proud. I think it made my wife — we were both proud, just because he just hammered down and did his job.”

After news of the passing, condolences flooded in from around the NASCAR garage area, including Kyle Busch, who makes his final start with Joe Gibbs Racing on Sunday.

Toyota Racing Development president David Wilson was also among those expressing their condolences.

“Racing is a family and the relationships within the entire garage go so much deeper than on-track competition,” Wilson said. “Today, we lost a dear part of our family. The loss of Coy Gibbs is devastating to everyone at Toyota and TRD. Our deepest condolences and prayers are with Joe, Pat, Heather, Ty, Case, Jett and Elle and the entire Gibbs family and Joe Gibbs Racing family.

As a result of Gibbs’ absence, Daniel Hemric, who currently drives for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series, will pilot the No. 23 Toyota for 23XI Racing.

Hemric is a familiar face around the Toyota camp, having driven for Joe Gibbs Racing last season en route to the 2021 Xfinity Series championship.

In eight Cup Series starts this season, Hemric scored a top-10 finish early in the year at Auto Club Speedway.

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.