BEHIND THE SCENES AT JOE GIBBS RACING JOE GIBBS RACING People Who Pave the Way Four main divisions (415 employees): 1 2 3 4 THREE SPRINT CUP TEAMS: TWO NATIONWIDE TEAMS JGR MX JGR DRIVEN 330 employees Nationwide is NASCAR’s second-tier series, Motocross division run Distributor of a racing motor oil similar to Triple-A in baseball. by Gibbs’s son Coy developed by JGR's chief engine builder and made by Lubrizol. No. 18 No. 11 No. 20 No. 18 No. 20 How many people does it take to eld a racecar? Many more than it used to. Joe Gibbs Racing — began in 1991 with 13 employees. Now, 415 people work for the company not including the M&M Mars/Interstate Batteries FedEx Home Depot Driver: Kyle Busch Driver: Denny Hamlin Driver: Tony Stewart 14 drivers, who are independent contractors. JGR, based near Charlotte, is among the larger (Currently 1st in points race) (4th place) (8th place) 65 employees employees 6 employees teams, smaller than mammoth Hendrick Motorsports (550 employees), but far larger than some one-car teams that employ fewer than 50. Here’s what all those people do, how they a ect Departments within the cars on race day, and what employees of the top Toyota team have in their own garages. the Cup portion: Joe Gibbs Currently Reporting byBonnie Berkowitz| Graphic byLaura Stanton No. 1 in owner J.D. Gibbs standings Team president ADMINISTRATION AVIATION MARKETING 40 people 30 people 30 people Includes Joe Gibbs and the rest of the front o ce, accounting, marketing, human resources, information technology, sponsor se rvices, buildi i ng services. This division functions like a small airline. Everyone involved with licensing, advertising, JGR owns three planes, with ights nearly public relations, consumer products, the Web site Todd Meredith Robin Lambe Paige Strickland Bob Dyar Gwen Roberts Cynthia Clemons every day ferrying management, crew and and show cars, which are non-racing cars displayed From Fayetteville, Ark. From Charlotte From Charlotte From Columbia, S.C. From Kingston Springs, Tenn. From Asheville, N.C. others to and from tracks. at events. Vice president of operations Executive assistant (a.k.a Chief Keeper of Secrets) Receptionist (a.k.a V.P. of First Impressions) Chaplain Human resources manager Travel coordinator Job: Runs the business side, Job: As the assistant to Jimmy Makar and Job: Greeter and all-around information Job: As the only full-time chaplain for a Job: People-related activities, such Job: Arranges for about 100 people to get to Ivan Beach From Pikeville, Tenn. Susan Berry From Staunton, Va. including aviation, human Todd Meredith, her duties include ling source for callers and visitors. NASCAR team, he also oversees JGR’s as hiring, training and bene ts. “My y and from testing and races every week, including resources and accounting. He Director of aviation and pilot Retail manager entry paperwork for races and scheduling charitable giving and lters some of job is to eliminate distractions,” she e hotels, some ights and rental cars. is the son of executive VP Don Best part of job: “I literally make a new Job: He ies planes and oversees the department, which Job: Chooses and purchases all products for sale at the JGR gift JGR events such as blood drives. Joe Gibbs’s many speaking requests. says. She sometimes works as a Meredith. friend every day.” She said 25 of her Worst part of job: Having to be exible, which goes also maintains the planes: a Learjet 31A and two shop, Web site, and in trailers that travel with show cars. Along backup scorer at races. How would a mistake a ect a driver on race wedding guests were people she had How would a mistake a ect a driver on against her plan-everything-in-advance nature, and 43-passenger Saab 2000 Turboprops. with the usual shirts and hats, the shop contains race-worn tires Best part of job: Change. “It’s an day? “If I forget to send in the entry blank, rst met when they walked through race day? “He’s not at all dependent on Worst part of job: Dealing with the having to persuade hotels to be exible as well. insanely competitive business (only from winning cars), barbecue irons that will brand your we’re in big trouble.” The team would be the door at the shop. what I do.” minutae of compliance with Best part of job: “I get to y two days a week, then that changes very fast. ... You How would a mistake a ect the drivers on race day? theyIf burgers with car numbers and peanut butter dog biscuits shaped assessed a huge late fee and would government regulations. manage and organize. ... I like the responsibility of being can be on top of the game right How would a mistake a ect a driver on If you could have any other job in the don’t have cars, they don’t get to the track. If they don’t like race cars. What doesn’t make the cut? Things that are priced forfeit any points earned in the race. given a mission and let run the department as I see t.” now and be out of it in a race day? “It wouldn’t. But if I hang up company, what would it be? Truck driver. How would a mistake a ect a driver on have hotels, they don’t get a good night’s sleep. In fact, too high or are of poor quality. Weirdness isn’t a factor. “I’ve month. ... We get a report card If you could have any other job in the on Joe Gibbs, that’s not good.” “I’m sure it would get old, but seems race day? It wouldn’t a ect him, but she said she once stranded Tony Stewart. “He called me How would a mistake a ect a driver on race day? If been doing this for 16 years and nothing seems odd to me, every week: You either won or company, what would it be? would She like such fun to drive all around it could a ect the mood of his team m from the hotel lobby saying, ‘Um, I don’t have a room.’” race-day team members showed up late or not at because as soon as I think something’s odd, someone comes in If you could have any other job in JGR, what all, the driver would have a very tired crew at best. and buys it.” you didn’t win.” create the position of M&M sampler. America ... and people wave to you and crew. would it be?She would create the If you could have any other job in the company, what would it And if they didn’t think they were going home (M&M Mars sponsors the No. 18 car.) and want a hat.” Best part of job: “I love the fans. They’re fun, excited How would a mistake on your part position of hospitality coordinator. But Her ride: Toyota Highlander hybrid. be? “I want to be J.D. for a day, just to see the quickly afterward, they’d be grumpy as well. a ect a driver on race day? It Her ride: Toyota Corolla. “if I could go to Disney and His ride: a Toyota 4Runner, which he behind-the-scenes things that he has to do each day. ... to be here and thirsty for anything you can tell them wouldn’t a ect him this week be Goofy, I’d be just bought six months before JGR Plus, I could boss people around.” If you could have any other job in the company, what about a driver, crew members — any little tidbits.” but could hurt him six months as happy.” switched to Toyota. “I tell them it was would it be?“Driver. Any of the three cars would Her ride: Volkswagen Passat. H How would a mistake a ect a driver on race day? e from now. a preordained thing.” be ne.” Her ride: would have a smaller payday. “We don’t make the If you could have any other job in 2004 PT Cruiser. His ride: Chevy S10 pickup. cars go fast, but we put more money in their the company, what would you pockets.” choose? Head engineer. Her ride: Pontiac Grand Prix. “I like to push the envelope.” His ride: BMW. BE NEFITS Dave Alpern From Oakton Vice president of marketing Job:Anything related to the Joe Gibbs Racing brand or trademark goes through him, including all product licensing. He also deals with driver contracts and other projects. Best part of job: Meeting and interacting with di erent people. Best example: At the 2004 Daytona 500 when musician Kid Rock was visiting friends, President Bush attended and actor Jim Caviezel was there promoting “The Passion of the Christ.” Said Alpern: “I’ve got President Bush, Kid Rock and Jesus standing there and I’m saying, ‘This is the greatest job ever!’ ” How would a mistake a ect, say, Tony Stewart on race day? “He’d have a plain white car, plain white uniform, no one in the stands wearing orange, no media obligations. . . . Whoa, we better not give him any ideas.” His ride: 2008 Toyota Sequoia, his company car. CAR MANUFACTURING RACE DAY Research & design, engineering and testing Assembly, fabrication, engine building, machine shop and materials 30 people 130 people 70 people The nitty-gritty. This group designs, tests and builds the cars and a majority of the parts inside them. These folks work primarily at the track: haulers, spotters, pit crews, scorers, mechanics. cs. Jimmy Makar From Cedar Knolls, N.J. Nelson CosgroveFrom Bu alo Mark Cronquist From Eagle River, Alaska Terry Saunier From Canton, Ohio Michael Lepp From Charlotte Peter Jellen From Sta ord Springs, Conn. Heath Cherry From Belmont, N.C. Senior VP of racing operations Director of engineering Head engine builder Fabrication shop supervisor Athletic director Primary hauler driver for Kyle Busch’s No. 18 car Rear tire carrier on Denny Hamlin’s pit crew and sponsor services manager Job: Formerly an extremely Job: Testing, testing, testing. Engineers Job: “Making sure the motors last all day.” Toyota Job: Fabricators make and hang bodies on the cars — Job: Trains pit crews much like a football team, with weight Job: Hauling the two No. 18 cars (a primary and a backup — successful crew chief, Makar now design all parts and test many of them supplies the block, heads and manifolds, and Cronquist 13 cars per team. Roofs, noses and hoods are bought work, nutrition, practice and lm review of the previous although ideally only the primary car is used) and their Job: Like many pit crew members, Cherry has two positions. oversees anything that has to do on elaborate gizmos they invent to and his crew choose and assemble the rest (and make from Toyota, then the fab shop makes the rest out of race’s pit stops. The shop’s tness center contains rows of equipment to the track each weekend, plus cleaning and He splits time between courting new sponsors and working with racing: crew chiefs, car simulate race conditions. Often they many of them). How many parts are there? He once sheet metal to NASCAR’s exacting speci cations. A tness machines and a training room for physical therapy stocking the truck. “I’m the shop on wheels,” he says. on Denny Hamlin’s pit crew. As a rear tire carrier, he has to building, engines. abuse a part until it fails to determine counted 1,136 per engine. Each motor must be rebuilt body takes about 10 days to complete and hang. Even and sports medicine. Lepp also sets up tness routines for Trucks usually arrive at the tracks three days before the be strong with quick re exes and excellent hand-eye its breaking point. They also do after a race and tweaked for di erent tracks and after a crash-free race, at least a third of a car’s body other shop employees and handles preventive medicine for race. Jellen also does some mechanic work and even cooks coordination — some of the same requirements from his Best part of job: “Seeing people — aerodynamic testing in a rented wind conditions. The department is responsible for about 100 must be rebuilt. Saunier recalled one race several road crews whose travel makes scheduling di cult. He for drivers. college days playing linebacker at Lenoir-Rhyne. drivers, crew chiefs — that haven’t tunnel. engines, including some JGR leases to other teams. years ago when three of his cars were totaled (after also scouts for potential new pit crew members. had success at this level attain Best part of job: Driving. “The truck is my sanctuary.” Best parts of jobs: The hunt and the acquisition of a new two were totaled the week before). “That was the success at JGR.” Best part of job: “Coming up with really Best part of job: The challenge of trying to make the Best part of job: “You get to see every Sunday, whether good sponsor; the athletic outlet and camaraderie of the pit crew weekend I passed out.” Worst part of job: Being away from family, especially his elegant solutions to a problem” on an motors better under constantly changing scenarios. or bad, the fruits of your labor.” At a recent Nationwide team. Worst part of job: People. “If every 2-year-old daughter, for 210 to 230 days per year. extremely tight schedule. If a part Best part of job: “Seeing the nished product win races race, the two lead cars came into the pits simultaneously. person has one bad day a year that I Worst part of job: “The days we blow up.” Then he has to How would a mistake a ect a driver on race day? Two ways, breaks on Sunday, the engineers see it and knowing you had something to do with it.” The JGR crew got its car out rst, and it won the race. “He How would a mistake a ect a driver on race day? doesn’t have to deal with, that’s every day gure out why an engine failed, which is most often bad since Cherry wears two hats: If he makes an error on pit Monday and must solve the problem race because his car’s not there.” of the year for me.” material in a part. N How would a mistake a ect a driver on race day? ASCAR Worst part of job: “When you come out [of a pit stop] and road, the driver loses potentially critical seconds in the before the cars go back out Wednesday. could con scate a car if it doesn’t pass inspection and lose six places.” His ride: 2002 Ford F-250 Super Duty. race. And if sponsors aren’t happy, the driver may not get How would a mistake a ect a driver on How would a mistake a ect a driver on race day? He’ll be “on How would a mistake a ect the drivers on he would have to drive the backup. This happened to a to the race at all. race day? It wouldn’t immediately, the trailer with the announcers going, ‘What How would a mistake a ect a driver on race day? Just as a fast race day? “They fall out of the race. They JGR car once at Texas Motor Speedway due to a slight but it could be disastrous in the happened?!’ ” If the motor breaks, the car doesn’t nish. pit stop can win a race, a slow one can lose it. His ride: 1993 Toyota 4x4 with 225,000 miles on it. crash. If parts malfunction, parts break fab shop mismeasurement. long term. “I could lead the whole — those are the things that keep me If you could have any other job in the company, what would it If you could have any other job in the company, what would it be? company down the wrong path.” If you could have any other job in the company, what would awake at night.” be? “Janitor. A lot less stress.” Engineer. “I view myself as a human engineer,” and he likes it be? Jimmy Makar’s job. “You’d know everything His ride: Cadillac Escalade. problem solving. Also, “parts don’t talk back.” His ride: BMW 3 series. His ride: Harley-Davidson Fat Boy. that’s going on.” His ride: Toyota RAV4 with 130,000 miles on it. SOURCES: Joe Gibbs Racing; Bill Janitz and Joe Crowley of True Speed Communication; NASCAR; Hendrick Motorsports His ride: Toyota Tundra. NEXT SPRINT CUP RACE: JGR teams will compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at 5 p.m. Sunday in Concord, N.C The .