AVONDALE, Ariz.—Just hours after Ty Gibbs celebrated his first NASCAR Xfinity Series championship, Joe Gibbs Racing announced his father, Coy Gibbs has passed away.
The team released the following statement just moments before the Championship Cup Race at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday: “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.”
Gibbs, 49, served as vice chairman and COO for JGR. He followed his father Joe Gibbs and brother’s footsteps into football, playing as a linebacker at Stanford University.
The youngest son of the NFL Hall of Famer dabbled in racing running a limited schedule in the Camping World Truck tour in 2000, followed by two full seasons in 2001 and 2002. He tallied six top fives and 21 top 10s before moving on to the Xfinity Series in 2003. After finishing 14th in the standings in his rookie season, he returned to football, joining his father with the Washington Redskins in 2004.
In 2007, he started Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross—a sport Coy truly enjoyed.
On Saturday, Gibbs was at Phoenix Raceway to support his son’s first Championship 4 run following a rough week at Martinsville. When he spoke to the media after Ty won the title, Coy said, “I'm definitely proud of him. I mean, I've always got his back as his father. Obviously, it's heartbreaking to go through tough stuff and watch—it’s actually more heartbreaking to watch him go through it.
"I don't give a rip; I'm old and don't care. In fact, I've been racing with Chris (Gayle, crew chief) since we were like 23 or something, so I've known him forever. We've kind of gone through a bunch of stuff in our life. But to see a kid hurting -- and he knows he screwed up; and to go through all that, it's tough. It's tough as a parent for sure.
"Watching it today, yeah, just to see his determination. I think he's got skills and he's determined. It definitely made me proud. I think it made my wife—we were both proud, just because he just hammered down and did his job. If he wants to do this for a living, he's going to learn how to do that.”
Ty Gibbs was scheduled to drive the No. 23 Toyota for 23XI Racing on Sunday. The team released the following statement: “Due to a family emergency, Ty Gibbs will not be racing in the No. 23 Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD today at Phoenix Raceway. In his place, Daniel Hemric will be competing in the No. 23 car today.”
“We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of Coy Gibbs,” said Jim France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO in a statement. 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.”
Gibbs' death comes nearly four years after the loss of his brother and JGR president J.D. Gibbs, who passed away in January 2019.
"Racing is a family and the relationships within the entire garage go so much deeper than on-track competition,” said David Wilson, President, TRD U.S.A. Today, we lost a dear part of our family. The loss of Coy Gibbs is devastating to everyone at Toyota and TRD. Our deepest condolences and prayers are with Joe, Pat, Heather, Ty, Case, Jett and Elle and the entire Gibbs family and Joe Gibbs Racing family."