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J.D. Gibbs, Co-Founder of Joe Gibbs Racing, Dies at Age 49

Joe Gibbs Racing announced late Friday night that team co-chairman J.D. Gibbs had died at the age of 49 “following a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease.”

Gibbs, son of team namesake and former Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs, served multiple roles with the organization throughout the years. First working as an over-the-wall crew member, J.D. served as a tire changer for Dale Jarrett’s 1993 Daytona 500 winning team.

He also tried his hand behind the wheel but didn’t find success. Gibbs ran 19 K&N Pro Series East races in 1999 with a best finish of 11th. Additionally, he made eight Truck and five Xfinity series races between 1998 and 2002.

In 1997, Gibbs took over as team president, a position he held until 2015 when he took a step back to manage health problems. Citing symptoms impacting brain function, the team announced he had begun treatment for the issues caused by “head injuries likely suffered earlier in life.”

Though his at-track presence diminished, Gibbs remained involved in the day-to-day operations with the organization and is credited with giving Denny Hamlin his chance with JGR.

Redskins team owner Dan Snyder and his wife Tanya issued a statement late Friday night.

Gibbs is survived by his wife and four children. Additional information about a memorial service will be issued by the team at a later date.

About the author

Content Director Beth heads up management of our 30-person staff, acting as Tom’s main assistant with technology and personnel while working as Frontstretch’s Truck Series expert. The author of Truckin’ Thursdays and the coordinator of the site’s pre and post-race coverage, she also runs a periodic charity column that spotlights when NASCAR gives back. A childhood transplant to Texas, Beth is a 15-year writing veteran who has contributed content to BRANDT and Athlon Sports, among other outlets.

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God Speed! May you finally rest in peace.


We feared the inevitable outcome, but are shocked and sadden, all the same. Rest in Peace JD Gibbs

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