Ty Gibbs, the grandson of Joe Gibbs, turned his football aggression into NASCAR success

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Ryan Homler
·2 min read
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Ty Gibbs turned his football aggression into NASCAR success originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Growing up, racing was always something that captivated NASCAR driver Ty Gibbs -- the grandson of Washington football legend Joe Gibbs.

Ty Gibbs was drawn to the sport because of its fast-paced nature and his desire to always have his foot on the gas, both literally and metaphorically.

However, given that he was in a family that had roots in football, that was also a sport that Gibbs had an interest in. He loved the hard-hitting, aggressive nature of the game and wanted to play the same way the late Sean Taylor did: full speed ahead.

“He goes, ‘I want to play safety! I’m Sean Taylor!” Joe Gibbs said to the Washington Times. “What he meant was he wants to get in and hit people. Part of Ty’s background is he is aggressive. He goes hard, I’ll put it that way.” 

What held Ty Gibbs back from pursuing a career on the gridiron was his size. At just 5-foot-9, he was unable to keep up with others physically. Therefore, Gibbs did the next best thing.

He took that aggression and channeled it in the other sports he loved. He still wanted to play fast, work hard and be the best, and he was going to do that behind the wheel.

“Once I kind of figured out the harder I work at something the better I’ll be, after figuring that out, I was like, ‘Man, if I really put my mind to it, I could be one of the best to ever do it,” Gibbs said. “I’ve had that mindset. … I’ve watched my family do it and I’ve watched the best athletes in the world have that same mindset. And it’s worked out for them.” 

Fast forward to today and that dream is coming true. On Sunday, Gibbs picked up his first win as he finished first in his Xfinity Series debut on the road course at Daytona International Speedway. At just 18-years-old, Gibbs is already adding to the family's racing legacy.

So while rocking offensive players with a bone-crushing hit was something Gibbs really wanted to do at a young age, he sided with racing. Based on his current trajectory, that seems like the right move.