At Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Sunday, prior to the STP 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track, team owner Joe Gibbs stepped into the track’s media center to address the media regarding the condition of son and Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs.
Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Wednesday that J.D. Gibbs was beginning treatment for symptoms, some of which were affecting brain functions including speech and prossessing. The release from JGR said that Gibbs would continue most of his day-to-day duties at the reace shop in Huntersville, N.C., but Joe Gibbs said on Sunday that his son wouldn’t be at the track as much as previously.
Joe Gibbs made a statement at Martinsville on Sunday, but didn’t field questions from the media. Here is a transcript of his statement:
"“I will address J.D.’s situation.“J.D., at our team meeting earlier this week, he got up and basically he said, ‘I know God has a plan and God puts us through things for a reason.’ I think J.D. gains his strength from the fact that he has a personal relationship with the Lord and I have to tell you that he’s my hero. I kind of watch him and I don’t know if anybody has ever dealt with anything as crazy as J.D. does. He went through a situation with his son Taylor having leukemia at two and we fought through that for about three or four years. By the way, appreciate all of you all’s prayers for Taylor and Taylor’s doing great today.“Like I said, J.D. through his entire life has probably been the craziest person that I’ve ever been around or knew. Basically, his situation medically – there’s very few answers. We’ve been dealing with this for about six months and basically what the doctors say is that they really don’t know. “J.D. has lived a very active lifestyle. All the things that he’s done in his life physically he’s loved all sporting events and it’s everything from football to snowboarding, racing cars, racing motor bikes. He’s lived in a lot of ways for him; he loved all those things. We can’t point to any one serious thing that happened to him, certainly any injury is a possibility that led us into some of the symptoms that he’s experiencing now.“I wanted to address the NASCAR community. I have to tell you that as a group, from all the contact that we’ve had, the people praying for us and the people reaching out to us, whether it was through Taylor’s situation or now through J.D.’s situation, it’s been just unbelievable for us as a family. I include the media in that. All of you have always treated us and J.D. in particular with such a caring attitude and you’ve always treated us fairly. Certainly everybody in the community out there, we’ve got so many different things and people praying for us right now, it’s real encouragement for us and I think that’s one of the thrills that we love about what we do and of being a part of your family.“We’ve been dealing with this for about six months so as far as the management team for Joe Gibbs Racing, we have a senior management team and most of our people have been in place for the full 24 years – it’s amazing really. I think very few people have noticed anything or any difference in the way we operate with the race team. “The good thing there is that J.D. and I share the same responsibilities. If I’m not there for a particular reason, J.D. will be there and if J.D. is not there for some reason, I’ll be there. As he goes through treatment, he will probably be doing less at the race track because he has a full week that demands quite a bit from him as he goes through treatment. You will probably see less of him at the race track, but he’ll be there on a day-to-day basis with the race team and be in all of our meetings and all of the key decisions that we make, J.D.’s going to have a huge impact on that. So for our whole family, Coy (Gibbs), who’s primary focus is the motocross team, but Coy also shares a lot with all of our big decisions with any of our racing and he’ll have a huge impact on anything we do in the future and working with us and his responsibilities – he has a lot of them, but he’s a very big part of our family and our race team and everything going forward. Coy will have a big input on that. “I just want to kind of finish by saying this is a personal thing for us. We appreciate the way you guys handle everything and we certainly will appreciate all the prayers going forward. Thank you.”"
The above photo is of a decal carried by the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet of Tony Stewart in the STP 500 at Martinsville on Sunday. Stewart drove the No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing from his rookie season in the Cup Series in 1999 through 2008 (photo courtesy of NASCAR and used with permission).