Joe Gibbs Racing - Team Introduction
News Tuesday 27th December 2010 By Lex
The innovative new entry to "action sports" garnered a substantial amount of media attention, and was fortunate to have Toyota join the effort as a major sponsor right from the start.
Josh Grant joined the effort for 2009. And exactly as they had done in NASCAR, Josh Grant lead the second year team to a first round victory at the Supercross Series opener at Angel Stadium.
In 2010 Justin Brayton joined the JGRMX team, along with new a new title sponsor, Muscle Milk. Brayton, in his premier class rookie debut earned his first Supercross Class podium at the Seattle Wash. round on April 24 with a third overall finish, and finished the series an impressive fifth overall.
Both riders were ready for X Games 16, and on July 29, 2010, at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Josh Grant and Justin Brayton finished 1, 2, to take both the Gold and Silver Medals in the highly publicized Super X competition.
Brayton enters his sophomore season in the premier division, with the Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGRMX Team, and has earned the number 10 for 2011. 2010 was the best year of his career. Including the Silver Medal at X Games 16, Justin earned his first Supercross Class podium at the Seattle round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross and FIM World Championship Series, a podium at the Steel City round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, two podiums and a win during a visit to the Monster Energy Australasian Supercross Series, and winning the 25th Annual Geneva Supercross.
Davi Millsaps was brought in to fill the void left by Josh Grant. Davi has been high on the list of riders Coy Gibbs has wanted to hire since the inception of the team, but existing commitments did not allow the young rider to make a team change at that time. Three years after their initial discussions, the timing was right for the 22-year old Millsaps to join the Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGRMX team in 2011 and beyond.
Millsaps will run the number 18, the first number ran by Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR 20 years ago, and currently on Kyle Busch's M & M's and Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry. Millsaps, who won nine amateur national MX titles, a Lites East Supercross Championship in 2006, and numerous podium finishes - including wins in the premier class, is energized about the upcoming season. Millsaps moved to North Carolina to focus on training and preparation, and will accompany Brayton in contesting the AMA Supercross Championship Series beginning January 8, in Anaheim and the National Motocross Championship Series beginning May 21, in Hangtown.
"I am making some major changes in my program and look forward to having the best season of my career," said Millsaps.
"Davi moved into a place near our NASCAR and supercross/motocross shops so he can train with our in-house fitness staff. He is focused and eager and I am excited to have him join the JGR family," Coy Gibbs added.
The Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGRMX Team is unique in that more like a football franchise than a motocross team. The entire team, including a dedicated trainer and a specially constructed training facility with both supercross and outdoor motocross practice tracks is all housed in one central location. There is a fully equipped Muscle Milk Fitness Facility within the NASCAR headquarters building where the motocross athletes as well as the NASCAR pit crews regularly train. The NASCAR complex is a 144,000 square foot building that has areas open to the public for visiting. Sponsors often use the banquet and theatre areas for meetings and employee gatherings. The engineering and CNC machine fabrication capabilities lend themselves to the team's ongoing research and development. State-of-the-art on-site custom designed engine and suspension dynamometers provide endless opportunity for refinement and testing new innovations for the team.
Recently the team began a new retail engine and suspension performance initiative that led to an amateur support program that just in its first year yielded numerous amateur national titles, including multiple titles for 14 year old NC native and rising star - Cooper Webb. This area of the organization is growing rapidly and in addition to providing an additional source of revenue, offers a meaningful connection to the motocross lifestyle, in addition to being a racing team by connecting and interacting with enthusiasts in a way that directly impacts their personal motorcycling experience.
Historically motocross teams have been fielded by motorcycle manufacturers whose primary goal was to sell product to consumers and enhance their brands through racing, exactly like NASCAR was 15 years ago. Much like the NASCAR teams of today, the Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGRMX Team's focus is on creating exposure and value for its sponsors and trying to create affinity with the enthusiast audience. Coy Gibbs sees the future of supercross and motocross following in the footsteps of NASCAR, with independent non-manufacturer based teams fueled by the enthusiasm of entrepreneurs and funded by outside of the industry main stream sponsors eventually becoming the norm rather than the exception.
The effort will be led by Jeremy Albrecht, the team manager since Joe Gibbs Racing started in supercross and motocross. The 39-year-old, originally from California, is a motocross veteran, having ridden and wrenched motorcycles for years. Albrecht raced as an amateur for several seasons before becoming a mechanic in 1990 for his brother Joel on the professional circuit. In 1993, Albrecht worked with X-Games gold medalist Tommy Clowers, and in 1995 he paired with Jeff Emig, one of the top motocross riders of the 1990's.
Emig coined the nickname ‘J-Bone’. Albrecht accompanied Emig to four titles, assistance that helped earn Emig a 2004 induction into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Following his tenure with Emig, Albrecht became James 'Bubba' Stewart's mechanic in 2002, where the duo produced seven championships.
In all, Albrecht has 11 major championships as a tuner, eight AMA Mechanic of the Year awards, two Live Nation Mechanic of the Year titles and the 2006 Mechanix Wear Outstanding Achievement award. Jeremy resides in Concord, N.C. with his wife Jackie and sons Trevor and Nathan. In addition to his duties with JGRMX, he also co-promotes the annual Surfercross event, going into its twelfth year.
Coy Gibbs is the youngest of two sons of Pro Football Hall of Fame Head Coach and championship NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs, Coy is the key driver of the JGR professional supercross and motocross program (JGRMX). He has always been an action sports enthusiast. As a young boy, Gibbs had a very successful BMX career, winning championships at the expert level. He also rode motocross with his brother, J.D., and has followed professional motocross and its evolution with great interest.
Prior to forming JGRMX, Coy was with the Redskins as Offensive Quality Control Coach. This was a natural role for him, having grown up on the sidelines of RFK Stadium.
As a collegiate player, Coy was a stand-out linebacker at Stanford from 1991-1994. He led the Cardinals in tackles his senior season with 84 (51 solo), and was a key member of the PAC-10 co-champion team that beat Penn State in the Blockbuster Bowl in 1992. After Stanford, Coy worked as a lower assembly specialist for the Joe Gibbs Racing NHRA Funny Car driven by Cruz Pedregon. "It was the worst job you can have in drag racing. You are basically on your back and having stuff poured on you all day" said Gibbs.
Coy enjoyed working with the drag racing team, but soon had the itch to try racing himself. He built a late-model race car and picked up driving experience by entering races at local tracks, running 40 races in one year. Hard work paid off for him in 1999, when he began racing in the NASCAR Slim Jim All-Pro Series. He went on to win Rookie of the Year honors and finished 10th in drivers points. Gibbs started the Craftsman Truck Series program at Joe Gibbs Racing in 2000. Coy assembled a team that included himself as the driver. In 2001 he had two top-five finishes and seven top-ten finishes. In 2002 he led the program to a 10th overall with 14 top-ten finishes. He then went on to compete in the Nationwide program at Joe Gibbs Racing. Coy finished his rookie Nationwide season with two top-10 finishes. Since then, the JGR Nationwide Program has grown into a key element of JGR, now fielding a multi-car effort with its own 100,000-plus square-foot race shop. In 2010 JGR won its third consecutive Nationwide Series Championship with Kyle Busch winning 13 events, a record for a single season.
Coy and his wife, Heather, live in Cornelius, North Carolina, with their four children, Ty, Elle, Case, and Jett.
Joe Gibbs is an NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Head Coach. Winner of three NFL Super Bowls, with racing experience in winning three Sprint Cup Series Championships and three Nationwide Series Championships.
The philosophy of success for Joe Gibbs? "A successful organization starts with its people". It helped carry him to three Super Bowl Championships and led to his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and has been a defining principle behind building Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) into one of NASCAR's most successful racing organizations.
This core philosophy also guides Gibbs's latest project: "Game Plan for Life", which is the title of his New York Times best selling book and its corresponding ministry (www.gameplanforlife.com). Gibbs assembled a team of 11 experts to respond to the issues a national survey revealed to be the most pressing in men's lives. The results are a modern day game plan for a successful life based on God's Word.
JGR has experienced amazing success and growth since Gibbs founded the operation in 1991. Beginning its first season of racing in 1992 with just 18 crew members, JGR now employs close to 450 people. Despite the immense growth, the company remains defined by the same principles of its founder: integrity, a relentless work ethic, determination, perseverance and team-building. Those principles have been the driving force behind JGR’s success including nearly 200 overall wins in NASCAR, three NASCAR Cup Series championships (2000, 2002, and 2005), and three consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series championships (2008 owners, 2009 driver’s with Kyle Busch and 2010 owners).
Gibbs has been applying character based leadership long before he started in NASCAR. After 17 years of serving as an assistant coach to several college and NFL teams, Gibbs was hired as head coach of the Washington Redskins in 1981. His determination and perseverance was immediately on display when the team lost its first five games - the Redskins rebounded to finish that season 8-8, and the following season, he would lead the Redskins to their first Super Bowl Championship in franchise history.
Over the decade that followed he would lead the Redskins to three more Super Bowls, including victories in Super Bowl XXII following the 1987 season and Super Bowl XXVI after the 1991 season. Over that time he became one of the winningest coaches in NFL history, but he would retire from the NFL following the 1992 season to turn his attention to his family and the new race operations. Four years later he would receive the NFL's highest honor - induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
JGR would make its debut in 1992, and it was only a year later that JGR would claim its first victory, when Dale Jarett won the 1993 Daytona 500, known as the Super Bowl of racing, in the No. 18 Interstate Batteries car.
From that first victory the growth and success of JGR has been extraordinary. In 1999 Gibbs realized that multi-car teams were becoming more prevalent and successful than their single-car counterparts. He brought Tony Stewart into the Cup Series with crew chief Greg Zipadelli and sponsor The Home Depot. The collaboration was successful from the outset.
Bursting onto the NASCAR Cup scene in the No. 20 Home Depot car, Stewart became the winningest rookie in series history, with three wins en route to the Rookie of the Year title and a fourth-place position in the championship point standings. In 2000, the No. 18 team with Bobby Labonte and the No. 20 team with Stewart proved to be a formidable one-two punch. The two drivers combined to win 10 of the series' 34 races, with Labonte winning four events en route to his first career NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Just two years later it was Stewart's turn, as the Indiana native scored three wins during the 2002 campaign and captured his first NASCAR title. In 2004, Gibbs shocked the sports world when he accepted an opportunity to return to the NFL for the team and fans he loved. With his eldest son J.D. running the day to day operations at JGR, Gibbs would be joined by his youngest son Coy with the Washington Redskins.
Once again Gibbs went to work and in 2005 the franchise returned to the playoffs and earned its first playoff victory in six years. While Gibbs was working to restore the Redskins winning tradition, the team he built at JGR continued to flourish. In 2005, JGR expanded to a third team as FedEx came on board to sponsor the new No. 11 team. That same year Stewart captured his second and JGR's third Cup Series Championship. Denny Hamlin would join the No. 11 FedEx team and went on to earn 2006 NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors. One of the greatest challenges of Gibbs's career would come in his final season with the Redskins in 2007 when star player Sean Taylor was murdered in his Miami home. Despite the tragedy, Gibbs managed to steer the Redskins to victories in their final four games to secure yet another playoff season for the team. When the season concluded Gibbs made the decision to spend more time with his family and is now back with son J.D. at Joe Gibbs Racing. Coy left his post at the Redskins following the 2006 season to start JGRMX, a professional supercross and motocross team, based near JGR's NASCAR operations in Huntersville, NC.
When Joe Gibbs returned to JGR prior to the start of the 2008 season, he had a new manufacturer, Toyota, a new sponsor for the No. 18 team, MARS Foods (M & M’s), and a new driver in Kyle Busch. In addition, JGR would learn during the season that Tony Stewart would be leaving after the conclusion of the racing season to start his own race team. Despite all the changes, JGR proved its foundation strong once again as Busch would win a remarkable eight times in the Cup Series and, for the first time, all three JGR drivers would qualify for NASCAR's Chase for the Cup. 2009 saw the debut of Joey Logano, taking the place of Stewart. Logano became the youngest driver ever to start the Daytona 500 at the age of 18 when he climbed behind the wheel of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota. He became the youngest driver in Sprint Cup history to win a race when he captured the win at New Hampshire in June, at 19 years one month and four days old. He would go on to receive rookie of the year honors, the youngest to earn the distinction in the 55 years of the sport’s existence.
In 2010 Joe Gibbs Racing had a phenomenal year. The team won the most races and led the most laps in Sprint Cup, finishing the Chase for the Cup in second place with Hamlin. In Nationwide Series racing Busch led the team with a record 13 wins bringing the team its third Nationwide Series championship in as many years. In addition to his working daily with J.D. at JGR and Coy at JGRMX, as well as working to further spread the message of ‘Game Plan For Life’, Gibbs also remains committed to Youth For Tomorrow, a home he founded in Bristow, VA that is now licensed to house up to 106 troubled boys and girls ages 11 - 18. He and his wife Pat currently reside near JGR's Huntersville, N.C. headquarters and enjoy spending time with their eight grandchildren.
- Team Name: Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGRMX
- Team Team Manager: Jeremy Albrecht
- Riders: Justin Brayton, #10, Davi Millsaps, #18
- Race Tuners: Patrick Barker (Brayton), Alex Ewing (Millsaps)
- Motorcycles: 2011 Yamaha YZ450F
- Suspension: JRI 2.0 NT rear shock, Showa 49 mm fork
- Footpegs: LightSpeed Performance titanium
- Wheels/hubs: Excel A60 Rims with Yamaha OW works hubs
- Motor: Stock Yamaha with JGR modifications
- Tires: Pirelli
- Clutch: Hinson Clutch Components
- Graphics: N-Style
- Oil: Joe Gibbs Driven
- Handlebars: Renthal
- Sprockets: Renthal
- Grips: Renthal
- Exhaust: FMF
- Levers: ARC
- Pistons: JE
- Connecting Rod: Carrillo
- Filtration: WIX
- Valve Train: FACTIONMX
- Tools: Motion Pro
- Fuel: VP Racing
- Drive Chain: RK
- Shifter/Brake Pedal: Hammerhead Designs
- Educational Provider: Strayer University
- Team Headquarters: Huntersville, North Carolina
- Official Website: jgrmx.com
- Transporter: Freightliner Cascadia tractor and 53' High Tech trailer with two slide outs
Team Sponsors: Muscle Milk, Toyota, Yamaha, SHIFT Racing, Interstate Batteries, Sport Clips Haircuts, FMF Racing, WIX Filters, Joe Gibbs Driven Lubricants, Renthal, N-Style, Oakley, Pirelli, Etnies, Hinson Clutch Components, FACTIONMX, JE Pistons, Motion Pro, Carrillo Rods, Hammerhead Designs, VP Racing Fuels, RK Racing Chain, Excel A60 Rims, Mechanix Wear, Asterisk, ARC, Renton Coil Springs, and Strayer University.
Photos courtesy of JGRMX