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Daniel Hemric replaces Ty Gibbs in No. 23 at Phoenix finale after death of Coy Gibbs

Marty Snider, Dale Jarrett, Kyle Petty, Brad Daugherty, Jeff Burton, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. react to the death of Coy Gibbs at age 49.

AVONDALE, Arizona – Because of the death of his father, Ty Gibbs will be replaced by Daniel Hemric in the No. 23 Toyota for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series season finale at Phoenix Raceway.

Joe Gibbs Racing confirmed in a statement that Coy Gibbs died in his sleep Saturday night.

The 23XI Racing team had confirmed the driver switch at 2:10 p.m. ET Sunday, almost 90 minutes before the green flag for the race to determine the championship in NASCAR’s premier series.

Gibbs, 20, captured the 2022 Xfinity Series championship Saturday night at Phoenix for Joe Gibbs Racing and was set to make his 16th Cup start this season in place of Kurt Busch, who has been sidelined since late July because of a concussion.

Hemric, who won the 2021 Xfinity championship by winning last year’s finale at Phoenix in his last start with Joe Gibbs Racing, drives full time on the Xfinity circuit for Kaulig Racing, which he joined after his only year at JGR.

He has 46 starts in the Cup Series, including eight in Kaulig’s No. 16 Chevrolet this year. Hemric has a career-best finish of fifth at Talladega Superspeedway in 2019.

This will mark the North Carolina native’s third Cup start at Phoenix. He finished 18th and 21st on the 1-mile oval during his lone full-time Cup season in 2019 with Richard Childress Racing.

Though there has been no official announcement, it’s been widely expected that Gibbs will be promoted to the Cup Series next season in the No. 18 ride being vacated by Kyle Busch.

In place of Kurt Busch, Gibbs started the final six races of the regular season in 23XI Racing’s No. 45 Camry. The team moved Gibbs to the No. 23 for the playoffs in a swap that put Bubba Wallace in the No. 45 that was eligible for the team championship.

In his first full-time Xfinity Series season, Gibbs clinched the championship with his seventh victory of the season Saturday. He led 125 of 200 laps while outdueling JR Motorsports’ title-eligible trio of Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier and Josh Berry.