Daytona 500: Late J.D. Gibbs to be honored with tribute during Lap 11

The NASCAR community will take a moment to remember late J.D. Gibbs, co-founder of Joe Gibbs Racing, during Sunday’s Daytona 500 race in Florida.

The tribute will take place during Lap 11, which had always been Gibbs’ favorite number. Toyota worked with FOX Sports to find a way to remember the former executive during FOX Sports’ broadcast, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported Friday.

Gibbs died Jan. 11 at the age of 49 after battling a degenerative neurological disease for four years. He was serving as president of JGR at the time. 

It’s been a little more than a month since his death, but his father, Joe Gibbs, said he has been touched by the amount of support he has received from the NASCAR world. 

”I think J.D. was living a godly life and was touching so many people,” the eldest Gibbs said Friday (per Yahoo Sports). ”It’s come back over and over again. … I don’t want to let J.D. down. We really appreciate how many people here prayed. This is a close-knit family in a lot of ways. So many people have stepped up to help us.”

J.D. played an integral role in discovering and hiring Denny Hamlin, who is now the driver of the No. 11 Toyota. Hamlin said he plans to dedicate his 2019 season to the late Gibbs. He revealed his charity will donate $111 to the J.D. Gibbs Legacy Fund for each lap he leads this season, and he also hopes he can bring home a victory in Gibbs’ honor.

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“It’ll be super important,” Hamlin said, per ESPN. “Obviously, everyone knows how important he was for me and my career and everything he did for us. Certainly having success on track will be crucial for that. Now that I pledged $111 for every lap we lead, it’s going to be important for me to get up front and be up front often.”

Live coverage of the Daytona 500 begins on Fox at 2 p.m. ET with the green flag scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET.

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