HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Jan 2, 2008) –– The bright orange #20 Home Depot Toyota Camry will be on-hand at the first round of the AMA Monster Energy Supercross Series on Jan. 5 in Anaheim, Calif., but Joe Gibbs Racing will be competing on two wheels rather than four.
The team, officially titled JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha, has been quietly preparing for more than a year at its Huntersville, N.C. headquarters, readying its equipment and staff for the 2008 season.
“Our philosophy is that you win with people,” said team owner Coy Gibbs. “We have assembled a group of industry veterans – people with a wealth of experience on factory teams as well as in motocross in general. We’ll build upon all of the knowledge every single person brings to the table as we strive to become one of the sport’s premier teams.”
As previously announced, championship tuner Jeremy Albrecht is handling the duties of team manager. Albrecht has attracted a staff of people with decades of combined experience, most of which has been at the factory level. The variety of race experience and connection to a successful NASCAR program has uniquely positioned JGRMX for the upcoming season.
“It’s not just the roots in NASCAR and access to technology that make us different – we are also taking a different approach to our entire racing program,” said Albrecht. “The team has a full-time trainer, and our staff, gym, test track, and riders are all in the same place. We feel this approach will allow us to work together more cohesively, test more efficiently and ultimately accelerate our learning curve.”
Riding for the team are Josh Hansen and Charles Summey. Both riders will campaign the Supercross class of the AMA Monster Energy Supercross Series and the premier class of the AMA Toyota National Motocross Championship aboard Yamaha YZ450F motorcycles.
Hansen is a 23-year-old from Lake Elsinore, Calif., and Summey is a 24-year-old from Stanley, N.C. Both riders have relocated to Huntersville and have been working closely with Tim Gearhart, the team’s trainer, to prepare for the 2008 season.
The son of 1982 AMA Supercross champion Donnie Hansen, Josh Hansen has been competing professionally for six years, with his best season coming in 2005 when he scored five podium finishes and ended the season tied for the championship in the Supercross Lites division. Injuries hampered Hansen’s efforts the past two years, but he joins JGRMX recovered and renewed for 2008.
Summey has been racing professionally since 2001. He moved into the premier motocross division in 2006 and notched five top-10 finishes. In 2007, Summey finished 11th overall in World Supercross GP points and 10th overall in the AMA Supercross championship. In AMA motocross Summey finished the 2007 series in 13th position.
When asked about his expectations for the team in 2008, Gibbs responded, “We have invested everything we can get to help our riders go fast and stay safe. Yamaha is just coming off a national motocross championship with the YZ450F and our equipment has the best components available. We have suspension and engine dynos in our shop and good people to make the most of all we have.
“Our goal for this first year is to work well as a team, be in the top 10, and really use 2008 to learn what it’s going to take to earn podiums and championships.”
The team is sponsored by Toyota, Yamaha, Yamalube, Renthal, N-Style, Oakley, Troy Lee Designs, Bridgestone, Etnies, Boost Mobile, Pro Circuit, and Cycra. For more information, visit the team’s official website, www.jgrmx.com.
Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is one of the premier organizations in NASCAR, currently fielding three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams, two NASCAR Busch Series teams and a driver development program. Its driver lineup consists of Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Bush in Nextel Cup; Hamlin, Stewart, Kevin Conway and Brad Coleman in Busch; and Marc Davis and Joey Logano in the NASCAR Busch East Series. Based in Huntersville, N.C., and owned by Joe Gibbs – a three-time Super Bowl-winning coach, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and current coach of the Washington Redskins – JGR has competed in NASCAR since 1992, winning three Cup Series championships and over 70 NASCAR races, including three Brickyard 400s and the 1993 Daytona 500.