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J.D. Gibbs, co-founder of Joe Gibbs Racing, dies at 49

J.D. Gibbs, son of Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs and a co-founder of Joe Gibbs Racing with his father, died Friday after a four-year battle with a degenerative neurological disease. He was 49.

“Joe Gibbs Racing appreciates everyone’s respect for the privacy of the Gibbs family during this difficult time,” the team said in a statement.

J.D. Gibbs was president of JGR from 1997 to 2015. JGR won four NASCAR Cup titles under his leadership with Bobby Labonte in 2000, Tony Stewart in 2002 and 2005 and Kyle Busch in 2015.

“I want to make sure that everybody here [knows] J.D.’s input with our race team, and everything when Tony [Stewart] was there, was so critical,” Joe Gibbs told reporters during the championship-contending owners news conference in November.

“Lots of times I get put in a position where I get up here and get to represent our company, but I just want to reflect on everything that J.D. has done, and the fact that he’s not with us [at the track].”