It was a big moment for the Gibbs family, as they saw a grandson of Joe Gibbs win a title in NASCAR’s top development series.
“I’m definitely proud of him,” Coy Gibbs said during the winning team’s news conference Saturday at Phoenix Raceway.
Sunday brought heartbreak. Coy Gibbs, 49, died in his sleep, a statement from Joe Gibbs Racing said. Coy Gibbs was a co-owner of the team founded by his father and served as the chief operating officer and vice chairman.
“It is with great sorrow that Joe Gibbs Racing confirms that Coy Gibbs went to be with the Lord in his sleep last night,” the team statement said.
“The family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers and asks for privacy at this time.”
Many of the JGR employees were close to Coy, who helped run the day-to-day operations of the team.
Ty Gibbs was scheduled to race in the Cup event Sunday. Daniel Hemric replaced him in the 23XI Racing No. 23 car. All four JGR Cup drivers competed in the race with Christopher Bell, one of the four drivers vying for the Cup title.
Coy Gibbs was an aspiring NASCAR driver himself, competing in 39 NASCAR Xfinity Series races in 2002-2003. He retired from racing and later turned his focus to running Joe Gibbs Racing’s motocross teams.
About seven years ago, Coy Gibbs got more involved with the NASCAR teams as his brother, J.D. Gibbs, began to suffer from a neurological disease. J.D. Gibbs died, also at age 49, in 2019.
“Racing is a family and the relationships within the entire garage go so much deeper than on-track competition,” Toyota Racing Development President David Wilson said. “Today, we lost a dear part of our family.”
Coy Gibbs also played college football at Stanford from 1991-94, leading the team in tackles his senior season.
Coy Gibbs is survived by his wife, Heather, and children Ty, Elle, Case and Jett.
Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass, and sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.
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