HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — J.D. Gibbs, son of Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and Also a co-founder of Meeting with his Dad, died Friday after a four-year Struggle with a degenerative neurological disease. He was 49.

Racing appreciates everybody’s esteem for the solitude of their Gibbs family during this tough time,” the team said in an announcement.

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

“I want to be certain everybody here [knows] J.D.’s input with our race crew, and everything Tony [Stewart] was there, was really so critical,” told reporters throughout the championship-contending owners news seminar at November.

“Plenty of times I get placed in a spot where I get up here and have to represent our company, but I only h to reflect on what that J.D. has done, and the fact he’s not around [at the trail ].”

conducts his own race team. His other son, Coy, has helped run the race team the previous 3 years.

J.D. Gibbs is credited to giving Denny Hamlin his first opportunity to compete in at a national level. Hamlin posted a tribute to Gibbs late Friday night on Twitter.

In might 2015, the team announced J.D. Gibbs had began therapy for symptoms affecting regions of brain function, including processing and speech difficulties.