Joe Gibbs Racing vice chairman Coy Gibbs dies aged 49

Leading NASCAR executive Coy Gibbs, the vice chairman and chief operating officer at his father's Joe Gibbs Racing team, passed away on Sunday morning.

In a team statement addressing his death, issued on the eve of the 2022 Cup Series championship race at Phoenix, JGR said: “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 family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers and asks for privacy at this time.”

Coy’s father, JGR owner Joe Gibbs, and his son Ty, who was due to race the #23 23XI Racing Toyota, returned to North Carolina prior to the race start. He was replaced in the race by 2021 Xfinity champion Daniel Hemric, who finished 17th.

On Saturday night, Coy was at Phoenix Raceway as Ty Gibbs won his seventh race of the year and captured the Xfinity title for JGR.

It came after a turbulent week for the younger Gibbs, who had earned criticism for spinning team-mate Brandon Jones to win the previous week's Martinsville race which ended Jones's hopes of contending for the title. 

“I’ve been through this before in multiple sports. Ty hasn’t,” Coy said after the race.

“So, it was more watching him and seeing how he’s going to react during the day. I think he’s just doubled down and did his job after making a huge mistake last week. It was fun to watch that.”

Former NASCAR driver Coy was an assistant coach with the NFL’s Washington Commanders, and a linebacker at Stanford University from 1991 to 1994.

Gibbs made his NASCAR debut in the Truck Series in 2000, sharing the driving duties of the #18 Chevrolet with his brother, J.D., who died in 2019 from complications following a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease.

Coy Gibbs,  Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops / TRACKER ATVs & Boats / USO

Coy Gibbs, Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops / TRACKER ATVs & Boats / USO

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Coy began racing full-time in the Truck Series in 2001, posting two top-five finishes, and finishing 10th in the series standings the following year. In 2003, he replaced Mike McLaughlin in what is now the Xfinity Series, with two top-10 finishes.

In 2004, after Joe Gibbs was re-hired as Washington’s coach, he joined the team as an Offensive Quality Control assistant, serving in that capacity until 2007.

Coy Gibbs founded the JGRMX team in 2008 and in 2016 was named to his current role of vice chairman and COO, overseeing the organisation’s NASCAR programs.

Coy and his wife, Heather, have four children – Ty, Case, Jett and Elle.

In a statement, NASCAR chairman and CEO Jim France said: “We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of Coy Gibbs.

“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.”

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