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Boris Says: The Team Meeting

Our performance on the track for the past several weeks has been second-to-none. Win after win in the Nationwide and Cup series, weekend sweeps, and fantastic pit stops headline these springtime races. Morale is up and smiles are a little bit brighter around the shop.

None of it has happened by accident. I remember being in Texas and riding to dinner with one of our VP’s earlier in the season. “My goal is to win every race. I want us to be the best at every track. When our equipment is right, we can beat anyone,” he said. The engineers and specialists riding along with us nodded in agreement; fully aware of the pivotal role each of them plays in making those desires a reality. Everyone at JGR shares in that sentiment.

The Gibbs family knows the importance of celebration. It is tradition for the driver to buy the entire race team lunch after a win. And so, everyone converged on the banquet hall for a BBQ lunch courtesy of Denny Hamlin. Before lunch was served, team owner Joe Gibbs and President J.D. Gibbs stood on stage to conduct a brief team meeting.

“Obviously, we have had a great few weeks and that is attributable to everyone in this room,” J.D. began. At the beginning of the season he had encouraged everyone to remain diligent in their pursuit of excellence. Today, he took the time to thank them for taking that message to heart. Joe Gibbs did the same, understanding that the weeks move quickly in NASCAR and leave little time for celebration.

“What have we shown?” asked the coach rhetorically. “We’ve shown that we have focused our attention and resources on three cars, three teams. We’ve done it well and we need to continue to do it well.”

The message is clear in the minds of every person in the room – Enjoy this celebration. You deserve it. But, don’t forget the importance of your impact on the success of the team as a whole. Don’t get complacent; the competition is as fierce as it’s ever been.

What has it been like to be a part of Joe Gibbs Racing during these last few weeks of success? For me, it has been eye-opening. Finding the balance between pausing to celebrate and relentlessly pursuing a goal is a tricky thing to achieve. However, when I talk to people like Jay (who shapes our car’s hoods), or Patrick (who oversees everything to do with tires), it’s clear that JGR knows how to strike a balance. Jay, Patrick, and everyone else has a passion to succeed not just for themselves, but for their teammates, and JGR.

“You win with people,” Joe Gibbs always says, and this team is winning because it treats its people well.