Share

Joe Gibbs' eldest son dies at 49 from neurological disease

Share

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — J.D. Gibbs, eldest son of Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs, was remembered as the visionary behind the stellar career of several NASCAR stars following his death from complications a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease. He was 49.

Joe Gibbs Racing announced Gibbs’ death Saturday. He died Friday.

Gibbs was co-founder of the NASCAR team that bears his fathers’ name and he largely ran the day-to-day operations of what is now an elite organization. He stepped away from JGR in 2015 when it was announced he was suffering from “conditions related to brain function.” He was president of JGR at the time and is credited with launching the career of Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin and spearheading the team’s pivotal move to Toyota.

Jason Dean Gibbs was also a staunch supporter of Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch, who won championships for the organization despite numerous skirmishes on and off the track. Stewart, a two-time champion driving for Gibbs, posted a photo from his 2002 title celebration in New York City alongside Gibbs and then-crew chief Greg Zipadelli.

“Heartbroken for the entire Gibbs family,” Stewart wrote on social media. “J.D. was a great person — a family man who loved sports & racing in particular. He played a big part in my career, both as a driver & as a team owner. When he asked how you were doing, he genuinely cared. I’ll miss that the most.”

Trending:
Pelosi Melts Down Over SCOTUS Decision, Accuses Republicans of Coordinated Nationwide Plot

Hamlin, who was found by Gibbs racing short tracks in Virginia, posted a photo sitting next to Gibbs before his 2006 Cup debut. Lurking just over Gibbs’ shoulder is Hamlin’s father, who told Gibbs that day ‘He’s all yours now.’

“I will always be grateful for what his family did for mine and the opportunity he gave me 14 years ago,” Hamlin wrote.

Gibbs played defensive back and quarterback at William & Mary from 1987-90 while his father coached the Washington Redskins, a team he led to three Super Bowl titles. He transitioned into NASCAR and the family business when the elder Gibbs launched his NASCAR team in 1992.

Gibbs was eventually co-chairman of JGR, but began with the organization as a part-time driver and over-the-wall crew member. He made 13 NASCAR national series starts between 1998 and 2002.

“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,” said NASCAR Chairman Jim France. “The NASCAR family has lost a truly special member.”

Washington owner Dan Snyder and wife Tanya say they are “heartbroken for the J.D. Gibbs family” and “for anyone who had the honor and privilege to know J.D., he was instantly recognized as a champion in life and sports.”

Gibbs is survived by wife Melissa and four sons.

___

More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation