Joe Gibbs Racing co-owner Coy Gibbs passes away at age 49.
On January 31, 2020, at the induction ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina, Coy Gibbs, to the right, hands his father, NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Joe Gibbs, the Hall of Fame ring. Coy Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing's vice chairman, passed away on Sunday. He was 49. (Associated Press)
Coy Gibbs, the son of NFL and NASCAR Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs, died Sunday morning, just hours after his son won the Xfinity Series championship. He was 49.
"It is with great sadness that Joe Gibbs Racing confirms that Coy Gibbs (co-owner) passed away in his sleep yesterday night." "The family appreciates all of the well-wishes and prayers and requests privacy at this time," the team stated in a statement issued soon before the start of the NASCAR season finale.
Joe Gibbs has suffered the loss of both of his sons. J.D. Gibbs died in 2019 of degenerative neurological illness. He was 49 years old at the time. Coy Gibbs took over as vice chairman of the family-run NASCAR corporation from his older brother.
"We are devastated by Coy Gibbs' terrible death." "I express my heartfelt sympathies to Joe, Pat, Heather, the Gibbs family, and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing on the death of Coy, a genuine friend and racer," stated NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France.
NASCAR observed a minute of mourning for Coy Gibbs before the start of the Cup championship race at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, where JGR's Christopher Bell was competing for the championship. Kyle Busch, in his farewell race with the team after 15 years, was sobbing on pit road before the race began.
"Today we will do what we don't want to do, but we will come together as a family and race for the name on our breast," JGR driver Denny Hamlin said on Twitter.
Ty Gibbs was supposed to drive the No. 23 for 23XI Racing but was substituted by Daniel Hemric due to a "family situation," according to 23XI. Mr. Bell's pit crew included Jackson Gibbs, son of the late J.D. Gibbs, who worked the race on Sunday.
Coy Gibbs had just finished a hard week with his 20-year-old son, who won the Xfinity championship on Saturday and is anticipated to be chosen Mr. Busch's replacement at JGR soon.
However, Ty Gibbs has been chastised this year for his aggressive driving and last week crashed teammate Brandon Jones out of the lead on the penultimate lap at Martinsville Speedway. Mr. Jones needed to win the race in order to qualify for the Xfinity title, while JGR and Toyota would have had two cars in the finals if Ty Gibbs had finished second.
"Racing is a family, and the bonds within the garage stretch far beyond on-track rivalry." We lost a beloved member of our family today. "Everyone at Toyota and TRD is devastated by the death of Coy Gibbs," said David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development.
Mr. Hamlin stated on Saturday, soon before Ty Gibbs won his title, that it had been a challenging week for JGR. After Ty Gibbs crashed Mr. Jones, he tweeted, "I miss J.D." He stated that he was referring to the atmosphere at JGR established by J.D. Gibbs, which he described as a "close family unit."
"We really have to treat (teammates) like brothers and sisters, and I believe at times at JGR, we probably work with each other the least of any other team, and that's simply the realities," he remarked. "I'm not blaming anyone right now, but J.D. was simply different because he threw his arms around everyone." 'J.D. was my father,' I said Coy. He was actually my father as soon as I came into the series, so losing that affects the culture slightly, and we simply have to get it back."
Joe and Coy Gibbs spent the days after Martinsville defending their teenage driver, who was booed at both Martinsville and Phoenix following his back-to-back victories. Ty Gibbs went on his own humble apology tour before defeating Noah Gragson for the crown.
"Prayers to the Gibbs family," Mr. Gragson tweeted, who had open enmity for Ty Gibbs for the most of the Xfinity season until praising him on Saturday's victory.
Coy Gibbs was a linebacker at Stanford from 1991 to 1994 and worked as an offensive quality control assistant during his father's second term as head coach of the Washington Redskins. Coy Gibbs raced for two years in the then-NASCAR Busch Series and three years in NASCAR's Trucks Series before assisting his father in launching Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross in 2007.
Coy Gibbs was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and currently resides in Cornelius, North Carolina, with his wife Heather and four children.