Sad News: J.D. Gibbs Passes
J.D. Gibbs, son of JGR owner Joe Gibbs, has passed away at 49 years of age. Gibbs died Friday after a four-year battle with a degenerative neurological disease. Gibbs was a co-founder of Joe Gibbs Racing, and was president of JGR from 1997 to 2015. JGR won four NASCAR Cup titles under his leadership with Bobby Labontde in 2000, Tony Stewart in 2002 and 2005 and Kyle Busch in 2015.
Joe Gibbs runs his NASCAR race team. His other son, Coy, has helped run the race team the past three years.
J.D. Gibbs is credited with giving Denny Hamlin his first opportunity to compete in NASCAR at a national level. Hamlin posted a tribute to Gibbs late Friday night on Twitter.
In May 2015, the team announced J.D. Gibbs had begun treatment for symptoms impacting areas of brain function, including speech and processing issues.
The team said doctors determined that the cause was "head injuries likely suffered earlier in life," but they did not determine one specific injury. A former defensive back and quarterback at the College of William & Mary from 1987 to 1990, Gibbs also had a short career as a race car driver and enjoyed other extreme activities.
"We were privileged to watch J.D. Gibbs grow within the sport, displaying an endearing personality, a keen eye for talent and the strong business acumen that helped grow Joe Gibbs Racing into a preeminent NASCAR team," NASCAR Chairman Jim France said in a statement.
Statement from Bob Carter, Executive Vice President of Sales for Toyota Motor North America on the passing of J.D. Gibbs:
“Our entire Toyota family mourns the loss of a great partner and friend in J.D. Gibbs. Our thoughts are with the Gibbs family and the extended family that is Joe Gibbs Racing. J.D. was a special soul and beloved family man who was an integral part of establishing the heart of the race team. His incredible personality, laugh and infectious smile will continue to live on. Our deepest sympathies are with Joe, Pat, Coy, Melissa and his four sons.”
Services are pending.
"Joe Gibbs Racing appreciates everyone's respect for the privacy of the Gibbs family during this difficult time," the team said in a statement.
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.