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J.D. Gibbs, Co-Founder of Joe Gibbs Racing Passes Away at 49

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR

By Toby Christie     

The racing community is in mourning and the Gibbs family has lost an important pillar of their world.

In a press release on Friday, Joe Gibbs Racing informed the world of the saddest news fathomable. Team co-founder J.D. Gibbs has passed away at the age of 49 after a lengthy battle with a degenerative neurological disease.

Here is the statement from the organization:

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Joe Gibbs Racing Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, J.D. Gibbs, who passed away earlier tonight at the age of 49 from complications following a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease.

“Joe Gibbs Racing appreciates everyone’s respect for the privacy of the Gibbs family during this difficult time.

“Additional information regarding details for a memorial service will be forthcoming at a future date.”

The Gibbs family business, before 1992 was football. But that all changed as legendary NFL head coach Joe Gibbs and his son J.D. formed Joe Gibbs Racing.

Over the past 25-plus years, the organization has become the gold standard for success in the highest form of auto racing in the United States, and a hefty percentage of that success came through the hard work of J.D.

At the age of 28, Gibbs also attempted becoming a race car driver himself. He competed in five NASCAR Xfinity Series races and eight NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series events before deciding he was better served running a race team.

Gibbs was right. The organization has won four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships and 157 race victories.

However, JGR would give that all up just to have J.D. back. The competition would probably gladly give up all of their championships and victories back as well if it meant they could spend another day with one of the greatest and kindest people that ever walked through the garage area.

Gibbs leaves behind his wife Melissa and four children Joe Jackson, William Miller, Jason Dean II and Zachary Taylor.

The NASCAR community reacted in droves to the news via Twitter.

Toby Christie View All

Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for He is the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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