The rumors and gossip have been flying about the new Gibbs Racing team. Who will the riders be? What kind of bikes are they on? Will the Red Skins make the playoffs this year? I decided to cut through the doo-doo and get straight to the point with the new team manager, Jeremy Albrecht.
Racer X: Jeremy, tell us how the new gig is going?
Jeremy Albrecht: It’s going well. It’s taking longer than expected with some of the things. But I’m working with a great corporation and they you do things right. That’s good for everybody though.
Jeremy Albrecht was the 2007 SX Mechanic of the Year photo: Steve Bruhn
Well, they probably aren’t for our team. They have it, that’s for sure. But they aren’t going to pay over the market price for riders or throw money away. The cool thing is that we don’t have to wait for sponsors to make things happen. We are going racing even if we don’t have sponsors, which isn’t the case. Still, the sponsors aren’t keeping us from doing our thing. And it’s cool because we can pick the best sponsors for the team, not just the ones that pay the most money. We want to use the best product that we can get.
Jeremy Albrecht was the 2007 SX Mechanic of the Year
photo: Steve Bruhn
What are some of the things that have been easier or harder than you thought as a team manager?
I would say that riders are harder to deal with than I thought. It’s easy to talk to them because I know them all. But as far as getting a deal done it is more difficult. We used to hang out and just have a good time but now it’s business and it can get frustrating. Some of the agents that I thought would be easy are the difficult ones and the ones I thought would be a pain are the easy ones. You just never know until you are in that position.
Is it like dealing with Arie from Entourage?
Exactly! I don’t want to bag on anyone but people are worth what they’re worth and sometimes the agents pump them up a little more than they should.
That’s their job.
Yeah, I guess. That’s just the trickiest part. Staff has been easy. I’m almost done staffing the team. I’m calling it the dream team; it’s going to be good. And as far as the bikes go, we are really close to being done on that deal. We haven’t put out a press release yet because it isn’t finished but it is close.
Will you have factory equipment?
Yes, we definitely will.
Are your riders signed?
They aren’t signed. We have one guy that is pretty much done but we don’t have the contract. The other one isn’t that close and it could change. But, nothing is finished yet. We’ve put out a lot of offers but many of the guys still want to be on a factory team. And that is understandable because we are a new team. We are just going to go out with the best team we can put together and with guys that really want to be here. I want guys that see this as a great opportunity for them.
J-Bone and Bubba photo: Steve Bruhn
Absolutely! It makes such a difference. One thing I’ve learned is that you have to bug people. I used to hate calling people on something like this because I didn’t want to bother them, but if I keep hearing from a guy it will change my mind about him. It shows that he wants to be here.
J-Bone and Bubba
photo: Steve Bruhn
They say the squeaky wheel get the grease.
What else is unique about the team? Are you going to have a team jet to fly the staff in?
The jet could happen. They have five jets now that they use but I don’t know if we’ll have our own. We’ll see. I don’t think Coy will fly commercial for too long. The cool thing is that if something isn’t working we can go to the owners and say we need this or that and they will do it. Another cool thing is that we are going to have two Supercross test tracks. We have a full-time track guy that will build the upcoming track every week. So, our guys will be able to ride the track they are going to race on the next weekend. We are also buying some really trick stuff that the factories won’t spend the money on. We can leverage some of that into the car teams. We also have, like, 42 engineers working on the NASCAR engines. I think our engine guys are going to learn a lot from them.
So, Joe Gibbs is the owner of the Washington Red Skins?
No, he’s the coach of the Red Skins. Coy, his youngest son, is going to be the president of our team. He came from the Red Skins as well and he wanted to be involved in something he could be more hands-on with. He is big on the training side of things and he wants to help our guys a lot with that.
You always help put on the annual Surfercross. Is that going to happen this year or not?
Yeah, it’s going to happen. Coy was really cool about letting us do it. It is going to be August 21st and 22nd and Starwest and San Onofre. We have Oakley as the title sponsor and Boost Mobile as the presenting and then Fox, Wahoo’s and Asterisk helping out. Hopefully Sunny Garcia will be able to come out again. I guess he’s okay during the day as far as leaving the house.
Can you surf with an ankle monitor on?
I don’t know. That would make a cool picture though, wouldn’t it? [laughs]. As far as the moto guys we have our main guys that always come out. Hopefully we can get Reedy, MC, Fro and the rest of the boys to show up. I hope you’re in.
That’s my favorite event all year… I’m there. Good luck with everything and we are all looking forward to hearing the official press release regarding the team.