The JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha Team was founded by Coy Gibbs, the son of NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Head Coach Joe Gibbs, winner of three Super Bowls, as well as three Sprint Cup Series Championships and three Nationwide Series Championships. The team debuted Jan. 5, 2008 in Anaheim, Calif., at the opening round of the AMA Supercross Championship.
The fledgling team had only modest goals for its 2008 rookie year, with more
aggressive plans for the future. Even so, the innovative new entry to action sports garnered a substantial amount of media attention and was fortunate to have Toyota and Yamaha back the effort right from the start.
Josh Grant was hired on for 2009, and exactly as they had done in NASCAR,the young team won the first race of just its second season at the AMA Supercross Championship season opener on January 3, 2009 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. Grant would go on to capture the team’s first motocross win later that year on July 4 at the Buchanan, Mich. round of the AMA Motocross Championship Series.
Justin Brayton joined Josh Grant in 2010, and immediately served notice by winning the Bercy Supercross in Paris, France prior to the start of the regular season. Unfortunate injury hampered the team during the 2010 season. Grant suffered a crash just before the start of the supercross season, forcing him to sit out the series. The team hired veteran racer Michael Byrne to substitute for Grant to insure its sponsors received the exposure of two bikes on the track. 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.
Just prior to the start of the AMA Motocross Championship Series it was Brayton who was injured, missing the first few rounds with fractured ribs. Both riders were healthy for X Games 16, and on July 29 in Los Angeles, Grant and Brayton took both the Gold and Silver Medals respectively in the highly publicized Super X competition.
Brayton would go on to earn a podium finish on Sept. 4 at the Delmont, Pa. round of the motocross series. He then captured two podium finishes during a visit to the Monster Energy Australasian Supercross Series (third overall at the Newcastle round on Oct. 16 and third overall at the Canberra round Oct. 23) in Australia before winning the Launceston, Tasmania round on Oct. 30. Brayton strung two consecutive wins together by following his Tasmania performance with a win at the 25th annual Geneva Supercross in La Voie de Moens, Geneva, Dec. 3 - 4 making 2010 the best year of his career.
From the inception of the team Davi Millsaps has been high on the list of riders Coy Gibbs has wanted to hire, and in 2011 the then 22 year-old from Tallahassee, Fla. accompanied Justin Brayton in contesting the AMA Supercross and National Motocross Championship Series. Millsaps ran the number 18, the first number ran by Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR 20 years ago and currently on Kyle Busch’s M&Ms and Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry. Millsaps, who claims nine amateur national titles, a Lites East Supercross Championship (2006), and numerous podium finishes including wins in the premier class, brought new energy to the team. Millsaps was recovering from major injuries sustained during the summer of 2010, and as he gained strength and endurance he started to show his speed. Millsaps earned a second over-all at the Wortham, Tex. round of the AMA Motocross Championship, and led nearly the entire first moto at the Buchanan round before injuring his knee, which required surgery forcing him to miss the remaining rounds of the series.
For 2012 Millsaps returns to the JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha Team healthy and fit. The team is also proud to announce the three-year signing of multi-time champion James “Bubba” Stewart to the family. Stewart, the only African American to have won a major motorsports title, will contest for AMA Championships for the next three years, and then potentially turn his focus to a four-wheel career. He has already had his first test in a car, and the results were surprisingly impressive.
The effort will be led by Jeremy Albrecht, the team manager since the inception of the program. Prior to becoming the JGRM/Toyota/Yamaha Team manager Albrecht was one of the most successful tuners in the history of the sport, earning 11 major titles with multiple riders, including Stewart. Albrecht is looking forward to a successful 2012 season. With Davi Millsaps fully prepared and injury free, and the addition of Stewart, the team is poised to have an exciting year.
The team is unique in that it is not based on the west coast. Housed within 150,000 square foot Nationwide Series operations building just down the street from the Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup headquarters the team has a wealth of resources and engineering acumen at its ready disposal. The Sprint Cup complex is a 144,000 square foot building that has areas open to the public for visiting, and 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 advancements. State-of-the-art on-site custom designed engine and suspension dynamometers provide endless opportunities for refinement and testing new innovations.
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. 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 JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha Team’s focus is on creating exposure and value for its sponsors, both endemic and outside of the motorcycle industry, trying to create affinity with the enthusiast audience. Coy Gibbs sees the future of 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.