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Truex: Ty Gibbs going to be 'an amazing driver' in NASCAR

Martin Truex Jr. has issued some praise for his young teammate, Ty Gibbs, ahead of the trip to World Wide Technology Raceway.

"(Ty) is really coming into his own, man, he's so good," Truex said last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "He's gonna be an amazing driver for a long time. Really proud of him."

Truex, the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion, spoke about Gibbs after Saturday's qualifying session at the 1.5-mile track. Both drivers had reached the second round and had set themselves up to contend for the pole.

Truex qualified fourth for the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600. Gibbs won the pole for the first time in his Cup career.

"We talked between rounds, and I guess I helped him too much," Truex joked to media members. "I didn't help myself enough."

Gibbs winning the pole at Charlotte was only the latest step in his Cup Series journey, one that began under unexpected circumstances.

Gibbs made his Cup debut during the 2022 season. He took over the No. 45 Toyota for 23XI Racing when Kurt Busch sustained a concussion in a qualifying crash. Gibbs finished 16th despite having no previous Cup experience.

The grandson of Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs made 15 total starts for 23XI Racing in 2022. He posted one top-10 finish and failed to finish four races.

Last season, Gibbs made the full-time move to Cup. He took over Joe Gibbs Racing's fourth entry as Kyle Busch moved to Richard Childress Racing. Gibbs set career-best marks with 10 top-10 finishes, four top-fives, and an average finish of 18.4. He won Rookie of the Year.

Cup teams have completed 14 of the 36 races this season. Gibbs remains in pursuit of his first career win at NASCAR's top level, but he has continued showcasing his progress as a competitor. He has already matched his career-best mark of four top-five finishes. He has won the pole for the first time in his career and led a career-high 309 laps.

Gibbs is fourth in Cup with an average finish of 11.9. The only drivers ahead of him are 2020 Cup champion Chase Elliott (9.6), 2017 Cup champion Truex (10.3), and 13-time winner William Byron (11.8). Gibbs is seventh in the Cup standings with 12 races remaining before the playoffs.

"(Gibbs has grown) a lot," Truex added. "Just gaining confidence and gaining respect from the other competitors and really racing smart.

"You know, not doing anything crazy and getting the most out of his cars, especially here this year. He's been really consistent."