AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Coy Gibbs, the vice chairman of Joe Gibbs Racing for his father in the NFL and NASCAR Hall of Fame, 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) went to the Lord in his sleep last night. The family appreciates all thoughts and prayers and asks for privacy at this time,” the team said in a statement released just before the start of the NASCAR season finale.
Joe Gibbs lost his two sons. JD Gibbs died of a degenerative neurological disease in 2019 and was also 49 years old at the time of his death. Coy Gibbs succeeded his older brother as vice chairman of the family-run NASCAR organization.
“We are heartbroken at the tragic loss of Coy Gibbs. On behalf of the France family and all of NASCAR, I offer my deepest condolences to Joe, Pat, Heather, the Gibbs family and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing on the loss of a true friend and racer, Coy,” said the NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France.
NASCAR held a minute’s silence for Coy Gibbs before the start of Sunday’s Cup Championship at Phoenix Raceway, where JGR’s Christopher Bell was driving for the title. Kyle Busch, in his last race after 15 years with the team, cried in the pit lane before the start of the race.
“Today we will do what we don’t want to do, but we will unite as a family and run for the name on our chests.” JGR driver Denny Hamlin tweeted.
Ty Gibbs was due to drive the No. 23 for 23XI Racing but was replaced by Daniel Hemric for what 23XI described as a “family emergency”. Jackson Gibbs, son of the late JD Gibbs, was on Bell’s pit crew on Sunday working on the race.
Coy Gibbs had just wrapped up a tumultuous week with his 20-year-old son, who won the Xfinity title on Saturday and is soon to be named as Kyle Busch’s successor at JGR.
But Ty Gibbs has been criticized for his aggressive driving this year and last week he demolished teammate Brandon Jones from the lead on the final lap at Martinsville Speedway. Jones had to win the race to win the Xfinity Championship and JGR and Toyota would have had two cars in the final if Gibbs had only stayed in second place.
“Racing is a family and the relationships throughout the garage run so much deeper than the competition on the track. Today we lost a dear part of our family. The loss of Coy Gibbs is devastating for everyone at Toyota and TRD,” said David Wilson, President of Toyota Racing Development.
On Saturday, just before Ty Gibbs won his title, Hamlin said it’s been a difficult week at JGR. He had tweeted after Ty Gibbs crashed Jones, “I miss JD” and explained he was referring to the atmosphere at JGR created by JD Gibbs, which he described as a “close family unit”.
“We really have to treat (teammates) like they’re our brother and family and I think sometimes at JGR we probably work the least together and that’s just the facts,” he said. “I’m not saying anyone’s to blame right now, but JD was just different because he really had his arms around everyone. I said to Coy, ‘JD was my father.’ He really was my dad as soon as I got on the show, so if you lose that, it changes the culture a bit and we just have to get it back.”
Joe Gibbs and Coy Gibbs spent the days after Martinsville defending their young driver, who was loudly booed after his back-to-back wins at both Martinsville and Phoenix. Ty Gibbs made his own humiliating apology tour before holding off Noah Gragson for the championship.
“Prayers to the Gibbs family,” tweeted Gragsonwho had open hostility towards Ty Gibbs for most of the Xfinity season before congratulating him after Saturday’s title.
Coy Gibbs played linebacker at Stanford from 1991-1994 and served as an offensive quality control assistant during his father’s second term as NFL coach in Washington. Gibbs had a short racing career, including two years in what was then the NASCAR Busch Series and three in the NASCAR Trucks Series, before helping his father start Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross in 2007.
Coy Gibbs was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas and lives in Cornelius, North Carolina with his wife Heather and their four children.
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https://news.yahoo.com/jgr-co-owner-coy-gibbs-202410301.html JGR co-owner Coy Gibbs, 49, dies hours after his son won the title