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J.D. Gibbs passes away

27 January 2011: JD Gibbs during Joe Gibbs Racing visit on the Sprint Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord NC. (HHP/Harold Hinson)

By AMANDA VINCENT

J.D. Gibbs, co-founder of Joe Gibbs Racing and son of NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs, passed away Jan. 11, 2019, at the age of 49 after a longtime battle with degenerative neurological disease.

“Joe Gibbs Racing appreciates everyone’s respect for the privacy of the Gibbs family during this difficult time,” a statement from JGR read.

Gibbs was President of Joe Gibbs Racing from 1997 until he stepped down because of health issues in 2015. He ran JGR when his father returned to the NFL to coach the Washington Redskins from 2004 until 2008. During his tenure, Gibbs is credited with bringing drivers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch to Joe Gibbs Racing. Both drivers remain with JGR. Hamlin has spent his entire NASCAR national-level career there, racing in both the Xfinity and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

After Gibbs’ health began to deteriorate, he was unable to attend races every weekend, but he was in attendance when Hamlin won the season-opening Daytona 500 in 2016.

“He’s the guy that took a chance on me,” Hamlin said of Gibbs after that race. “This is the biggest win of my life. He’s not at every race, but to have him here with me today, that’s just how it was supposed to be, wasn’t it?”

Hamlin began racing with Gibbs’ name on the side of his No. 11 Toyota in 2017 as a gesture of thanks.

Gibbs, a former college football player competed as a driver for JGR in five Xfinity Series races between 1997 and 1999. He posted a best finish of 20th at South Boston (Va.) Speedway in 1998.

“If you want to know how to live life the right way and leave a legacy that will last forever-look no further than the example JD GIBBS set for all of us,” NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell (@odsteve) tweeted. “A great leader, a man of faith, a family man and a friend. Rest In Peace JD.”

Gibbs is survived by his parents, Joe and Patricia Gibbs; wife, Melissa; and four sons.

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Posted by on January 12, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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