The younger Gibbs was a driver in NASCAR's Nationwide Series for a few seasons prior to hanging up the helmet and taking over as President of Gibbs Racing in 2000, at the tender age of 31, competing against his brother Coy. His experience within the team was not limited to driving as he also served as a crew member in the early '90s, with Dale Jarrett behind the wheel. Despite the notion of nepotism, that the day-to-day duties fall to one of Gibbs' sons (his other in the racing world is Coy Gibbs a former Busch Series rookie of the year), J.D. had overseen his team win four Sprint Cup championships with Kyle Busch in 2015, Tony Stewart in 2002 and 2005, and Bobby Labonte in 2000.
When Joe Gibbs returned to coaching the Redskins in 2004, J.D. saw his role within the racing team increase to also include the JGR Busch teams and a diversity program to launch careers of minorities in NASCAR. Both of the team's Busch drivers, J.J. Yeley and Denny Hamlin, will move up to full-time Sprint Cup seasons in '06 while Aric Almirola, a driver of Hispanic descent, will drive the 75 in the Craftsman Truck Series as part of JGR's driver development program.
J.D. died on January 11, 2019 after a four-year battle with a degenerative neurological disease. He is survived by his wife Melissa and their four children.