AVONDALE, Arizona – Coy Gibbs, the son of NASCAR and NFL Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs, died in his sleep, according to a release from Joe Gibbs Racing.
Coy Gibbs was 49. He was the vice chairman and chief operating officer at JGR and the father of Ty Gibbs, who won the 2022 Xfinity Series championship Saturday by winning the season finale at Phoenix Raceway hours before his father’s death.
“It is with great sorrow that Joe Gibbs Racing confirms that Coy Gibbs (co-owner) went to be with the Lord in his sleep last night,” the team said in its statement. “The family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers and asks for privacy at this time.”
Coy Gibbs had moved into a bigger executive role at JGR since his older brother, J.D., had vacated the team president role while battling a degenerative neurological disease. J.D. Gibbs died Jan. 11, 2019 at the age of 49.
Coy Gibbs also started and ran Joe Gibbs Racing’s motocross team, which was a winner and championship contender in Supercross.
“We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of Coy Gibbs,” NASCAR chairman and CEO Jim France said. “On behalf of the France Family and all of NASCAR, I extend my deepest condolences to Joe, Pat, Heather, the Gibbs family and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing on the loss of Coy, a true friend and racer.”
Before becoming a racing executive, Coy Gibbs was a successful athlete in multiple sports. He starred as a middle linebacker at Stanford University from 1991-94 before moving into a racing career as a driver.
After racing Late Models in NASCAR series in the late 1990s, he made his Craftsman Truck Series debut in 2000 and raced full time on the circuit from 2001-02. In 58 trucks starts, he had six top five finishes.
After his Xfinity Series debut in 2002, he raced full time on the circuit for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2003. He retired from driving after the season to focus on his role in racing management and nurturing Ty’s burgeoning career.
Ty Gibbs had been scheduled to drive in Sunday’s Cup Series championship finale for 23XI Racing but was replaced by Daniel Hemric.
During the NBC prerace show, analyst Dale Jarrett, who won the 1993 Daytona 500 with Joe Gibbs Racing, said he was “stunned, devastated” by the news.
“It’s family to me because of my association and the opportunities they gave me,” Jarrett said. “To get to know this family and to see Coy come from a college football career, try racing, do anything and everything to be a part of the family business there. And to bring Ty along and put him in a championship situation.
“If there’s any consolation in thinking about this, he was able to watch Ty win his championship yesterday. But my heart, my thoughts and prayers to Joe, Pat, Ty and everyone in the Gibbs family.”
NASCAR on NBC analyst Kyle Petty, who lost his son, Adam, in a 2000 crash, said he had many discussions with Joe Gibbs after the death of J.D. Gibbs.
“These are the days in this sport we are a family,” Petty said. “You hurt for this family. There are no words. This is his second son, and I was just crushed when I found out about it. It’s the worst thing a parent can go through to lose a child. But Coy was loved and we can look at so many positive things. That’s what we have to look at, anytime you have this situation, you have to look at the positive side.
“And Joe Gibbs, Pat are strong in their faith. That’s all you have is that faith you’re going to see them again. They’re in a better place. It breaks my heart. It truly, truly again brings you back to that moment in your life. And I know it takes him back and Pat back to that moment they lost J.D. It’s a sadness that will fall on this place as more and more people find out.”
Joe Gibbs started his NASCAR Cup Series team in 1993 after winning three Super Bowls as the coach of the Washington Redskins. Joe Gibbs was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2020 after his fourth Cup Series championship.
Coy Gibbs is survived by his wife, Heather, and four children.