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Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 4 months ago

Dave Alpern

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on Huddle Up with Gus is the President of Joe Gibbs Racing, Dave Alpern. Dave grew up in Northern Virginia and went to Oakton HS. When Joe Gibbs came to Washington to coach, Dave became friends with Joe's son JD. Dave attended George Mason University and would go to many Redskin games and become very close to the Gibbs family. Dave started his career as an unpaid intern selling T-shirts for the newly formed Joe Gibbs Racing team. Since then, he has held nearly every position in the front office, including overseeing consumer products, communications, and sponsorships before being named team president.

As one of the longest-tenured executives in the sport, Alpern has seen the team grow from 18 employees to nearly 600 and has worked with C-level executives for many of the world's top brands, such as Toyota, FedEx, Mars, Stanley, the Coca-Cola Company, and Comcast. In addition, Dave had been invited to the White House on multiple occasions after winning NASCAR championships in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2015, and 2019.

Dave is a regular university guest lecturer, particularly at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School for both their undergraduate and graduate business programs. He teaches marketing, sponsorship, and social media and also enjoys corporate speaking.

Dave is married to his college sweetheart, Stacey. They have three sons: twins who recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an audio engineering student at Belmont University in Nashville. His interests include snow skiing, snowboarding, surfing. He is also an avid fan of the Washington Redskins, the Washington Capitals, and the Carolina Tar Heels.


Check out Dave's new book: Taking the Lead.

In Taking the Lead, Dave shares the wisdom he's learned along the way: fundamental principles that will equip you with what you need to rise to the top and succeed with integrity and purpose—whatever team you're on.

Hey everyone, Welcome to anotherepisode of huddle up with Gus, I'm your host, former NFL quarterback GusFrerotte and welcome to the new 16 31 digital new studio. You know, somepeople say no news is good news. Well I say to those people you've never read.16 31 digital news dot com. Go to 16 31 digital news dot com to get your latestnews, sports, music and entertainment and maybe even listen to your favoritepodcast. Follow up with gusts. Check it out today at www. 16 31 digital newsdot com. Welcome to what surely will be a doozyof a matchup brian here. Sports fans, whether your game is on the gridiron atthe diamond or on the links, we can only say, yeah, welcome to this week's huddle upwith gusts. 15 year NFL quarterback Gus parents, passion for sports has takenhim on the field and behind the bench is Playing for seven NFL franchiseswith 100 and 14 TVs under his belt. Gus knows who the players are and how Thegames are. one. it's not every day you get to hang out with an NFL quarterbackup. Okay, sports fans from the decked out and plush 16 31 digital studios,it's kick off time. So snap your chin straps on and get ready to huddle upwith us two left. Hey everyone, welcome to anotherepisode of huddle up with Gus, I'm your host, 15 year NFL quarterback GusFrerotte and I want to welcome you to the 16 31 digital news studio. Doesn'tlook like it today. I had to change my backdrop a little bit, but uh, I'm in aroom where I get good wifi signal, just like our guest is getting good wifisignal today. But I want to thank 16 31 digital news for all the help they giveme. I want to thank my team. Uh Ian Kiss, Terry, Schulman, uh super duperproducer, brian. And I also want to thank Sounder FM for hosting us ontheir platform. Sounder FM does a great job of using new technologies to reallyhelp you promote and monetize your podcast. So today our guest has a newbook coming out. Uh he grew up in northern Virginia, he went to OaktonHigh School, he is uh the president of joe Gibbs racing and his book is calledtaking the Lead. So we're going to get into that a little bit later, but we'regonna go back to his origin story. So joining us today is Dave Alpert. UhDave, How are you doing buddy? Hey, I appreciate the intro, I reallyappreciate you having me on, I'm doing well. So, you know, it was funny, we weretalking before the show here that our careers kind of started around the sametime, you know, and you're you've never transitioned, which, well only in thebusiness, which has grown tremendously since you started. But for me, I'vetransitioned a bunch of times, but tell me about growing up in Virginia and uhyou know how your love of sport came to be? Yeah, well, honestly I grew up, soI went to Oakton and I was I was a late bloomer. So in every stage, if I waskind of always the smallest, I was undersized and um I think that ended uphaving its advantage mentally later in life, but from a sports standpoint,actually pretty quick, had good hands and I think that was fairly athletic,but really was hard to get, you know, to excel when, you know, it was kind ofa boy playing with men by the time I got the fifth or sixth grade as kidswere way ahead of me. So my first level was football and I loved playing in theneighborhood, I loved watching it and of course growing up here in D. C. Hugeskin fan Uh you know they played in Super Bowl 17 when I was in 7th grade.So so my middle school kind of all the way through it was it was Redskins. SoI love the NFL was again a big uh big skins fan you know caps and some of theother teams as well. But really for me it was it was NFL and was in seventhgrade. Um you know I met a kid named J.

D. Gibbs who had just moved into townbecause his dad was the new coach of the of the Redskins and I joked thathis dad started oh and five and and it's a true story. JD spent the nightat my house the the week that they went five and I literally was like, well,you know, it's been fun knowing you, but you, you get ready, get ready toget run out of town. Um you know, hey, tell Lombardi nice job, you know, whenyou get home. But um and so yeah, from an early age that just obviouslydeepened my passion and love for the for the Redskins, so it will always behome. But for me personally, um I played a little across um rec leaguelacrosse in high school. Um but my honestly my biggest regret in life isthat I didn't go because I was so small. I just thought, you know, I don't know,ask me out of there. Well yeah, they're not a small school either right? Thereare a lot of kids going to school there. Yeah, so that, that makes it difficult.But I always tell, you know, and I think that when you say it's a regret,I think it's just something that it is scary because it is a very physicalsport, you know, it's not basketball or baseball or anything like that. Andwhen, when people are twice your size, it is very scary to really a yeah, thatthat this guy is gonna lay me out and so uh, you know, let me make sure I saythis though when I got to college man, so we played intramurals and Idominated, so that's where the fast little quick guys do really well inflag football. So I kind of came into my own playing flag football. Andinterestingly when we went in and well, I know we'll talk about the joe gibbsracing days, but there was a Nascar flag football league and JD who wasactually a good quarterback and I played and we went severalrelationships. So I got to I got to kind of get my a little bit of my angstout from not playing in high school in in college and afterwards playing flagfootball. Well, my son played high school football and he didn't want toplay anymore. But he played intramural football, like the same thing atDelaware. He went to Delaware, he's in sport management. And so Gabe was like,Mr football for intramurals, same thing, right? He loved, he was a quarterbackreceiver. He called me up, he goes down to cut six touchdowns today and I'mlike, that's awesome. Uh He loved it. That that was his thing. So he reallyenjoyed, but it gives you something to do like that. What else do you know ifif you're not playing sport in college, you know, I always told him, I said go,you know, go you could try out for the golf team, you could do whatever. Andso he did intramurals. Yes, that's good. Well, and I will say so in terms ofother sports I loved, you know, I got into some of the alternate sort of uhextreme type of sports. I love surfing, skiing, snowboarding, all of thosethings and did those all through high school college and to this day, thoseare kind of passions of mine. Um, But anyway, yeah, I know the football one Ialways go back to. Is that the one that, you know, kinda would have been with alot of fun, but well your body probably thanks you for that. Although if youfall in skiing, surfing and all those things, so that could be prettytraumatic. Have broken a lot of bones in that, but probably not as many as Iwould have had applicable. Yeah, well that was, I can't do either one ofthose things. So you got a leg up on me there. Uh I am like a stick going downa mountain trying to see, I will say I'm pretty decent at skiing. And again,I live in the wrong part of the country to surf. But uh my wife and I actuallymet with me working at a surf shop. That's a whole nother story. But thereare some fun memories. I guess. I'll count that support when you're askingabout my sports background. So tell me where we talked a little bit about yourhigh school career. Um And you went to Oakton and then where did you go afterOakton? So I actually ended up right here at George mason University and itwas um and I talked about this in my book, it was not my first choice, itwas actually not my second choice at the time and I wanted to go off tocollege and well I ended up staying and staying at mason while all my friendswent off to different schools and it...

...ended up being an amazing experience.Um First and foremost I met my wife there who was a year behind me and thenext year after the I do call my first year of college the worst year of mylife. I went into electrical engineering, which had I taken a 10minute personality profile, it would have told me run, run, don't walk asmall detail. Was I like math or science. So if you're getting into that,not a good idea. So honestly, my dad was an electrical engineer and I didgood on S. A. T. Map and I thought all right I'll do that. Which was a dumbchoice. So first year was awash met my wife played intramurals, helped start afraternity, had a great experience here at mason while JD who had become realgood friends you know through high school he went off to William and maryand played football and my other friends went to different places but wewould all get together in the summers and kind of grew in our friendship overthrough college even though we didn't go to school together. I did not knowthat Jamie went away mary, that's where my son Gunnar went and played football.Oh is that right? Yeah he was interesting. So the funny thing was J.D. Was a quarterback, he went as a quarterback and then there was a guy Ibelieve his name was Chris Haykel who ended up starting and sometime in theNFL so JD moved to D. B. And so he played DB at uh at William and marynumber 11, yep. Oh that is awesome. So he um yeah that is great. That's agreat story. I didn't know that because there are several people I know that gofrom Oakland down to William and mary. Yeah, his love, our love for the skinsobviously kept growing in college. We had Super Bowl 22 then write the yearwe finished college. We had Super Bowl 26. So we were spoiled because I grewup thinking it's normal for your team every three years. They go to the 2025years later. I'm still waiting. Yeah, I hear you. There are so many people Italked to the Redskins fans that feel the same way. Uh, you know, I'm hopingthis year my man fits magic gets in there and uh, does, does, does, youknow, turn around for us. I would love nothing more. But we have some greatmemories of going, you know, going to the Super Bowl 26 1 of great memoriesof my life and being out there with them. And uh, again, little did we knowit would be decades before we go again. How many times did you make a trip toRedskin park? I think there was an old one that was, yeah. Before they go outto the park is often, but we went to a lot of the games, I would say the year,um, the year they went to Super Bowl 26 all but one home game includingplayoffs. And I went to the, it's funny myself and another guy. So JD and I hadanother best buddy named moose and we're crazy skins fans. We went to moregames than JD did because he was at college and mrs Gibbs would invite us.We're like, sorry j we're going to the game. So I went to more than he didthat that year. But those are great memory. Honestly, some of the fondestmemories of my life are or that and I still, it's funny. I moved to charlotteand, and look, I I want the panthers to do well and I'm happy for him, but youcan't make yourself like another team. And as much as I've tried because it issometimes painful. Um I am still just, yeah, I'm burgundy and gold, I can't, Ican't get it out of my system. Yeah. You know, I played for seven teams andI understand what you're saying, like I've always had an affinity for theRedskins because they drafted me, you know everything that happened. My wifeand I were married when I was with the Redskins, we had our three kids and atuh what's what's the hospital over there by you? Uh Fairfax, Fairfax, mywife was actually working there and Really? Yeah, then once we had kids andwe were doing okay. She she retired from nursing early. But you know theone thing I do miss most and it's still my favorite place I've ever played isRFK. It's especially actually I just saw I guess they're tearing it down andthey had a lot of the old legends go...

...walkthrough for one last time and manyof them were tearing up and Oh yeah, I mean you remember the stadium thatbounced and there was nothing, there was nothing like it and you know, it,you know, it really was a special place. I couldn't imagine the years like we,we had some good teams and we had a little bit of success, but nothing likegoing to the super bowls. But I can't imagine going and being on the fieldwhen you're winning that division every year and then you're going to the SuperBowl and you have playoff games there. What it was, what it was like. Um, doyou remember some white wild games that you attended? Oh, I was at the seatcushion game where they were. I was there. I was, that was the year. Ithink I'm into every game. And um, Honestly watching the skins, it waslike watching a video game because if you remember, I think statisticallythey lead the league both defensively and offensively. So I mean if a teamwas within 20 point, you're like, man, this is a nail biter. You know, I mean,they were just destroying people. They beat the Lions 45 nothing on openingday and then ended up playing them in the championship and throttle themagain. It was, it was special. So I remember that. Yeah, I remember theywere, um, I remember it was, you know, 18 oh nine and oh, and then, um, youhad corns are writing the bandwagon thing that went and I still saved thosenewspapers from when he wrote about the bandwagon. So those were probably mymost special years and just remembering the, um, you know, tradition. And sofor those of us who are again fortunate to kind of get to go with them whenthey would win, they would go out to dinner afterwards and we'd all beinvited to go to dinner. But if it was a loss, you know, we all scattered himafter the game, he would go home. So, you know, obviously we went to dinnermore often than we didn't because they want to lie. But that year it was, youknow, every week you're not only did you win, but you just crushed the, sohe was always in a great mood, you know, And so that was kind of one time yougot to see coach because as you know, during the season, you know, other thanmaybe right after the game, he was in his office working and so you justdidn't, you didn't see him a lot. But there were a lot of great memoriesagain, spending the night at JD's house and coach would get home from RedskinsPark and, you know, it's, you know, whatever time and he's, you know, he'llcheck in with how we're doing and we'll just say, all right, how we look andhow we looking, you know, whatever. And those are those are those are the greatmemories that I'll cherish my whole life. It's amazing that you've beenwith the organization. Yeah. You know, you say you've been with since 93, butyou've really known the leaders of that organization for a long, long time. Ihave and that's actually how I got my start because when coach wanted tostart a Nascar team, JD was still, he was on the five year plan. So he had anhere and really they just needed a gofer because joe was still coachingfor the first year. And so he had this race team, he was starting in charlotteand really needed to go between to drive, you know, sign stuff, contractmemorabilia, what have you. And since they trusted me, they kind of asked meand I talk about that in the book how I was so honored and they had no ideaearly on that they were doing this for me, but you know, I struggled with selfconfidence and Jamie had a lot of friends, but he picked me and so justpicking me to be the gofer kind of for me, I was like, wow, they really, theymust really trust me, we'll look, you know, you don't want your coach downwell coaches, my coach and I didn't want to let coach down so early on. Ikind of said, all right, I'd like to, I'd like to stay here doing whatever itis. So it started as just being a chauffeur and, and I was unpaid andthat was kinda, I figured I'd do that for six months and it would look goodon my resume. And actually I wanted to be a sports sports anchor. I wanted tobe a, my dream was to be a sportscenter anchor and I thought I'll do this foryou know six months a year and maybe I'll meet some folks and I'll get achance to do that. You wanted to be George, Michael? I did yeah. And and Isat on the set of that show many times interesting him going. That guy is theman, he was the man by the way, oh he was he was awesome. Yeah he did a greatjob with that you know and there were so many good, I mean D. C. Has so manygood sports programs and radio shows,...

...tv shows they've just done it yearafter year, they do an outstanding job. You recently had Michael Wilbon on andI listened to that and getting big fan when I honestly, one of the coolestthings about coming here. I rarely watch network tv news at home, butwagon here, I'll flip on, you know what, you know, channel four just and some ofthe, some of the familiar faces. I just, yeah, I do like it, it just reminds meof my childhood. It takes you right back, doesn't it? Like when I come toPittsburgh and there's still Katy k on here, right? It's just like, man, itjust takes you back to when you were a kid and your dad was listened to it onthe radio. Absolutely. So after George mason, right. Obviously have been,you've known the Gibbs forever, but that wasn't your right out of college.Right. That wasn't, Was that your first gig? It was, it was my first. Sotruthfully I finished college and you know, I really didn't have a good plan.I changed majors a couple times. Um, the only thing I knew for sure is who Iwanted to marry. So I met my wife and we've been dating, but her dad who I'mactually in his house right now and he is one of my heroes, but he was prettyfirm with, you know, until you have a firm job, you're not, you know, don'tbe thinking about asking my daughter. And so I had some motivation where Igot to get my stuff because you know, she's gonna, she's gonna, you know, I'mgonna get, I'm gonna get kicked to the curb here. So I am honestly, I wasliving at my parents house trying to figure out what was going on. I wasdebating, actually, there's a ministry called young life that was realimportant to me and special and actually debated. You know, hey, maybeI'll go with them. I wasn't sure what I was going to do and honestly, coachasked me, hey, will you help out in the first couple of months? It was it wasfrom my house. Like I, you know, you don't need to come, you just need to bea go between that lead and actually I share I can tell you this story. Whatled to the full time thing was I came up with an idea and look as you know,we're we've been talking about how how big a deal of coaches in D. C. And lookup here. Nobody agrees on anything except The football team when they'regood. So Joe is like the one unifying thing in Washington and in the 80s and90s. You know, he was the guys for thinking as a 23 year old, okay,starting this race team. Gosh, if we could put shirts that said, you know,everything says Redskins, but nothing says joe gibbs on it. What if we putjoe gibbs racing shirts at R. F. K. Stadium? Doesn't matter if anyone knowswhat it is, It says joe gibbs on it. So I found the name of the buyer of themerchandise. This is pre internet. So I always tell my son try figuring out howto make a T shirt when you're 20 without internet. But so I meet withthe guy, he says, I'll take them on consignment. Of course, I didn't evenknow what that meant. He said, give me a purchase order, didn't know what thatwas, but all that to say, I made a sale of 72 joe Gibbs Racing t shirts. Idelivered them myself. I set up a table at RFK and they sold out in one gameand that put me on the map, and that literally got my full time job with joegibbs racing. And so coach kind of went, hey, why don't you do all the T shirtfor the driver and come down and be our merchandise guy? And I, I talked tostudents about that and sometimes you don't have the opportunity to dosomething like that, but sometimes just go do it, don't, you know, do something,add value to yourself. And I wanted to have my own little niche. So it was thet shirt business, put me on the map and got me to go to charlotte full time,but they still couldn't pay me first. So I went down there. Um, but yeah, Iwent down again center. You were, you had a much more glamorous start than Idid. Let's just say that they didn't have anywhere to put me and theyliterally put me in a broom closet, like the NPR closet. And so keep inmind, I mean I'm the only son, I have two sisters. I'm the only son of thishygiene dad. My dad was a CIA operative and spoke multiple languages and mysisters and I, as you mentioned, we were all born in foreign countries andyou know, my dad's this rock star and then I'm like, he must be so proud ofme. I'm in a garage, in an emptied out...

...broom closet working for nothing. Youknow, it was, it was this unglamorous to start and I honestly do anything. Iwas putting stickers on cars. I was booking hotel rooms, you know, andbooking a hotel room. Again, pre internet meant 100 Hilton Hey, W. inDallas, I mean everything was way more difficult. Oh yeah, I couldn't imagine.I mean my kids understand what it's like not to have a cell phone and acomputer in your have email. Yeah, we didn't have, we didn't have emails,emails was just starting. Um and I talked about some stories with emailswe can get to in my book as well that led to some other things. But no, itwas and that was my start and I didn't know if I was going to last six monthsor what even think about this when you had to drive from D. C. Or northernVirginia down to charlotte. We didn't have google maps, you know, you had aroadmap probably on my lap. I had a roadmap. Actually here's a funny thingyou'll appreciate. So I would drive coaches coach had a, they had a Chevyblazer and I'll never forget it had a phone in it And it was the coolestthing and it was probably like 5000 and I was you know, I was like, I am notpicking this thing up but I remember it, write it rang once and it was coach andhe called me on the phone in the car, I was driving down, you know, 95 I waslike, I made big right now. I am, I am driving coaches car, talking on a phonein the car. I thought that you're just on the phone looking at people besidesyou like on the phone, I'm talking to coach right now. Yeah, I was likeBennett, he's not paying me to do this. But um, you know I mean again, uh soyeah, I just remember what a big yeah, I had a literally an atlas and youwould like lay it on the steering wheel and you're mapping out, you know whereyou're going? Oh, everything was I listen, I delivered pizzas at mason andI tell my sons try delivering pizzas without GPS or a cell phone. You lookat a map, you memorize the turns and you go, if you get lost, you got todrive all the way back. Yeah. And you hope you find the road you're lookingfor, right? Like get lost. Northern Virginia isn't that easy? No, that isthat is true. So it's much more you say it's more efficient, but I have afeeling we're all like way less stressed out back then everyone is nowright? Oh yeah, yeah. Everything is, is super intense and has to be done quickback in the day. It was like there was no half hour, like, hey, the food'sgonna get here in a half hour. I don't even know how like often delivery washappening. No, no, it wasn't, it was not really a thing. Yeah, no, it wascrazy. So tell me a little bit about, if you can tell me why Coach Gibbswanted to start a racing team when he's been the coach of this amazing, uh, youknow, football team for years. Yeah. You know, I think he talks about, healways had a love for cars. He drag raced out in California and he actuallykind of sat down with the boys and they talked about how can we get intobusiness together or coach together? And I think the boys kind of expressed,you know, You're talking to later in life, look, football's what took thataway from them. And so I don't think they all wanted to get in thatlifestyle, to be honest with you. And their model was a guy that slept at theOffice three nights a week. And so I think coach realized that's probablynot the thing for us. But I'd love to do something with the boys. So hehonestly dreamed about this. And, and you know, it's another example ofgetting into something right at the right time because getting into Nascartoday would be almost very difficult the way we did it. But Hey, you needed15 people And he, he wrote down five companies that NASCAR is a littledifferent to make, about 80% of our revenue from sponsorship. So you haveto sponsor. So he said, Hey, I'm gonna go meet with some sponsors. And one ofthem was Interstate batteries, ironically in Dallas texas. So here thehere the here the Red States coast goes to Dallas and meets with more millerand and and his brother Tommy, the chairman and you know the founders ofInterstate and right shows him a piece...

...of paper and says, I've got a dream. Idon't have a driver, I don't have a shop, we don't have a car, we havenothing. But if you sign up we'll do it. And the first, his coach called themback the next day because he felt so he left the meeting and thought that wasthis guy must think I'm crazy. So he called him back to say, hey, listen,I'm sorry. And, and and he goes, no, I think actually we're going to do this.And so they put us on the map. And so with that sponsor Joe started a raceteam and back then we thought it would be like this forever. It was 15 peopleI say 15, there were 18, but it was 15 real people who knew what they weredoing. Plus J. D. Gibbs myself and another young guy that they hired andwe had no idea what we were doing. Um you were this the gophers, we were thegophers and And that's how it started and we had one driver and one sponsorand we thought it's going to be this little 15 person family business. Andthen over time what ended up happening was you know it kept growing and thenwe moved to two teams and then to three and then 24 today we have around 500employees and you know we have over 350,000 square feet and racing in eightdifferent series and you have four teams right? So we have four in in withour premier series and what's unique about that. So for people listeningthat aren't fans, what's really, it's kind of everything. What's differentabout us is we actually have teams competing against each other. So anygiven sunday, there are 40 cars turning left in circles for about three hours.And of those 40 cars, four of them belong to us. So they have differentschemes, different part, uh, sponsors on them, you know, 11 says Fedex, onesays Eminem and um, um, and at the end of the day, I compare it to, I havethree boys. It's like your kids all being in a, you just don't want them toget in a fight. You know, someone is going to be hacked off again becausethey can't all win. Um, and so that's it. And so that we compete for cars andwe have four in what's called the cup series, which would be our, our majorleagues. And then there's a triple A series called Xfinity, we have anotherfour teams that race on saturday and that and then we have actually, we havea development car, lower series that happens to be raised by coaches,grandson, ty, who is kicking everyone's rear end right now and do it reallywell. So he's only 18 and he's really, he's legit, what makes, what makes youlegit At racing like just is it just winds losses, Yep, So that, so what youlook for is a pattern. So when you look at the greats, the trend that they have,as many of them come, you know, unlike many stick and ball sports wherethere's kind of the same path, you know, you go high school, you go to collegeracing, you could race open where you could race late models, you could race,there's different disciplines of racing. So what you look for is a pattern whereeverything they've raised in, they dominated, not just won a couple races,like they dominated and again, what's the profile of that person? You know,they're, they're a little bit different, but um so what you look for is justsomebody who who given and particularly if they drive in a situation wherethere are other people with the same quality equipment that they're beatingbecause in racing, unlike sports, it's beyond just the athlete, it's themachine, you're driving the machine to be better than everyone else's. And sosometimes you don't know that person in an unfairly good carter, not reallygood as a driver or is it really the all driver? So the answer is it's both,but you look for someone who's dominated and so I think with thaijoe's grandson, he is dominating the league he's in and we moved him up tothe Triple A League, just erase a couple to see how he would do. Um Andhe won the first time he was in it, he's won twice, he's finished in thetop five every time against people that have been doing it way longer. So thoseare the kind of things you look at is how do you, do you know, do you thinkbeing good, I mean you've been in the industry for so long, like being a goodquarterback, there's you know, I can tell you a lot of things that you needto do to be a good quarterback would be...

...a good racer and you're talking aboutty being really good. What are some of those closet just to feel like, youknow, in the past you can feel like everything that's going on, you know,explain to me a little bit about that. Yeah, that's interesting. So you haveyour, what I would call once in a generation type talents and, and, andso I would describe Tony Stewart's probably name you've heard of werecruit come to Nascar, he raised for us, Kyle Busch, you've got guys likethat. There there there are some different traits and I think some ofits God given. Again, I can have all the traits I'm going to describe. But Iwas not gifted with certain things. I would need to have to be an elitequarterback. So for a driver, some of it is God given some of itinterestingly is an uncanny. So, so the way I would describe it, it's anuncanny. Feel like like an attention to detail that most people don't have theexample. I would give what Erasing one of the most important things is whenyou're the driver, you're the only one that can feel what the car is doing. Sobeing able to articulate that to an engineer or a crew chief who can adjustit appropriately is sort of the secret sauce. And these special drivers areable to get in a car and say this is exactly what I need. Down to the KyleBusch could tell you, I need £2 of air pressure in the right rear tire andthat you're kind of going, you're kind of going uh, and then beyond thatthere's a, there's a fearlessness, you know, the ability to go into a deeperthan someone. There is a feel for it. There there is a level of arrogance andI don't mean that in a negative way. It's just a uber confidence. Um, and,and honestly look, you've seen this, I think genius in any field, whetheryou're steve jobs in your field or whether you're tom brady, you're just alittle different. You see that person, you go their different, you know, therethere's just your brain is thinking of things that other people aren't. And Ithink in our sport it's no different. There are genius drivers who just actdifferently. They may be a little more difficult sometimes to deal with, butyou kind of put up with it because you go, this person is a genius. You know,that's the only way I can describe it and you just know, I mean, you know,you're in the room with someone like that, that person is different, do they?You know, so like a lot of times you hear about athletes that, you know,when you cross that white line, you become a different person. So driversin the same way, when they get in that car, they're they're completelydifferent person. The switch gets flipped. Um it's it's and in our sport,you know, your, your life honestly can be on the line. So there's an intensityand you can hear it in their voice. The interesting thing about Nascar that Ithink is really cool. We are the only professional sport where our athletesare live mic during the entire event. So you can, a fan can listen to ascanner and hear them. And a lot of these guys are very different duringthe race. Much like you probably you probably had some of the nicest kindestfamily men that man when they get on the field. Like, oh my gosh, who areyou? You know, you flip the switch? Yeah, they were usually laying on topof me and laughing at me as they were sacking me. So yeah, the thing, the NFLdoesn't live mic. Every player, you probably have a tough time withcorporate sponsors. Oh yeah. The battle people say well, and I will say thatsome of the coaches are just as bad. No, absolutely, absolutely. So, so yeah, no,I think during it, there's an intensity and you know, during the race and youget one of the neat things about our sport is you get to join along andlisten to it. And so I scanned the drivers. I, I can hear him and you know,it's funny the great ones, even when the car they'll be going on, this isthe worst I've ever driven. I can't. And you're, and you're thinkingyourself, he's leading right now. He's winning. You know, he's telling us thecar stinks so they're, they're, they're never satisfied. They want better. Soit is fun to look at them. That is amazing. Hey, everyone, I want to thankyou for listening. We're gonna take a little break right now, but we'll beright back. We're talking with Dave Alpert from joe Gibbs racing.

Mm hmm. Uh huh. Yeah. Hey, how come up with uslisteners? Manscaped. Well, they sent me, uh, they hooked me up with a bunchof tools and formulations for their package three point oh kit. Uh, so, youknow, I want to show you guys what's in the perfect package, right? We allthink we got a perfect package, but they sent me the perfect package threepoint Okay. And I want to show you what they sent me. So it was crazy. It camein this great box. Uh, you know it and you can see what it says. They willthank you because they sent us this awesome trimmer. They sent us uh youknow, stuff that makes you smell better. And then uh you know, they sent me thisgreat uh boxers what you get right, protect them. And then uh you know,they sent me this, cool. It uh sat I guess you want to call it to store allyour stuff in. So uh it's been great. Manscaped, sent me a bunch of product.Um you know, and you know, you can see it all on here. Uh you know, you can goto Manscaped dot com and put in the code. Uh Gus Frerotte, that's G U S F RE R O T T E. Get 20% off and free shipping when you use that code, butyou can get a kit, you can get individual items like uh this way coolgroomer that has a little led light, um, ceramic. Uh these things come apart,they're waterproof, you can do a lot with them. So you know, get manscapedis great. You know, it's funny game. I remember when I was playing with theDenver broncos and I'm not going to mention any names, but there was agentleman who was playing on our team and uh, you know, if you ever hears thestory, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. But he brought his ownclippers in one time and he used it to trim his beard up his goatee andeverything and he had him there for about two or three weeks and he goes inaround the corner, he walks in and there's a person, another player thatis actually manscaping with his beard trimmer. So you know, one of the thingsis, you don't want to use the same trimmer down there that you use up here.So uh, he kind of freaked out a little bit and he said, hey, how long have youbeen using that tool there? And he said, well, showed up here about three weeksago and I've been using it ever since. So you know, there is a lesson learnedthat, you know, don't leave things out and probably if it would have just saidmanscaped on it, we wouldn't have had that issue, but it's probably one ofthe funniest, uh, taking care of your ball stories I've ever heard or beenaround in the locker room in the NFL. So, uh, it's a great story. Um, but youknow, I always said There was no way to know, there's no name on it and the guywas just using it and another guy was using on it was not good, but it's aheck of a funny story. So one of the best I've ever heard my 15 yearsplaying in the league. Um but you know, there's so many great things aboutManscaped and what they're doing because guys, you got to take care ofyourself even though I got great hair. Um and getting older, but you stillhave to maintain some sort of grooming, right? And so, you know, we all workout for me. I like working in my yard doing those things now that I'm retired,getting a little sweat on and everything you want to smell good. Uhyou know, you gotta take care of yourself, They've got some greatproducts. Um you know, this one, a little uh all deodorant, We'll needthat here and there um, after, you know, working the yard, taking a hike, doinga walk, whatever you do. Um It's a great thing, but there's so many greatproducts um I want to thank Manscaped...

...for sending them to me. Um Thelawnmower 3.0. Obviously you can use it anywhere in your body, but I'm sure youguys have all seen the commercials, but this was one just letting you know thatthe lawnmower three point comes with the perfect kit. You can buy thelawnmower by itself. You can buy all these products individually. They evensent me this wonderful shirt. You can see the back, Your balls will thank you.And then here's the front. So it's an awesome shirt. They have great gear.And you know what? Sometimes you can just sit back, take care of your ballsa little bit and and read the paper. So think Manscaped even has their owndaily news here. So which is great. So don't forget that you can go to thecode Gus Frerotte and that's G. U. S. F. R E R O T. T. E. Uh And you can save20% on any products, the complete the perfect uh package gift set and uh youknow you can save 20% and get free shipping. So use the Code Gus Frerotte.G. U. S. F. R E R O T. T E. Hey, everybody spells my name wrong, theyeven spelled wrong back my pro bowl jersey. So you know, I gotta I gottahelp you guys out. So don't forget how important it is that you use theseproducts, take care of yourself down below uh and have some fun right?There's nothing closer to you than your little buddies. So use the lawnmower.Uh Use the Code Gus Frerotte, save 20% and get free shipping and uh order somegreat Manscaped products. Uh All right. Hey everyone, we're back onhuddle up with gusts. I want to thank um sounder FM for hosting us on theirpodcast platform. And I want to also thank 16 31 digital news down inWashington D. C. In their new studio. I appreciate you guys having me on. Sotoday we're talking with Dave, Alvin, Dave, we're back and you know, we'vebeen discussing a little bit about your career. You started out as an unpaidintern driving back and forth and coaches car with that old bag phone.I'm sure it was you were telling me about, but you know, now you move yourway up through the company Uh and you see everything grow. You know, we weretalking before about I played 15 years and I had a transition. You've playednow for since 93 until now, you've been on the same team, right? It's been ait's an amazing career and you've worked your way up and now you're kindof like the starting quarterback, you're the guy, you're the coach,you're the Gm, your, whatever you wanna call it, you're at the top. So tell mea little bit about that rise for you and how that happened. Well, it was, itwas wild and so we literally have a playbook, we kind of made it up as wewent along, You know, we were due to racing, we had 15 people and what wasinteresting was um I mentioned, I started kind of as the T shirt guys, sofor a decade really, that was my wheelhouse, as I said, hey, I'm gonnabecome an expert in licensed product and I went to new york and met with theNFL Properties and Major League Baseball and I wanted to learn, youknow, how it worked and um I keep a journal and for many years, you know,into my career I started lamenting as we sometimes tend to do, we feel sorryfor ourselves. And I thought, am I going to be the t shirt guy forever?I'm not appreciated, whatever. And so I had, it was kind of each stage of mycareer, I kinda would think, I know I could do more than this. Well, therewas a point where I kind of ran all the PR at JGR because again, we didn't haveanybody else just fell to me and each stage I would do these different thingsuntil we get big enough to actually...

...hire someone who knew what they weredoing in that area. So I was the t shirt guy and then we hired a licensingexpert and I was the PR guy and we actually hired chris who came from theRedskins with joe to come work for us. And so Interestingly, it was this 20year journey of always feeling like I was more important inside the buildingbecause I knew how much coach relied on my advice, but outside the buildingThere was some Ego where hey, nobody knows all that I do in here, they justthink I'm the T shirt guy and I would get frustrated with that. And so over20 years, that pattern went on and a little bit, I know I was being preparedfor a job that I had no idea was ever an option because here I worked for alittle family business, I'm not a member of family. And then in 2015, youknow, JD, who was our president, um got sick and you know, about six months toa year into his illness. It was clear that he couldn't, he couldn't operateyou know anymore as the president he would continue to come in but he wasnot able to function and so you know the family came to me and coach satdown and he said you know, Dave we we want you to be the president and it'skind of like everything you know kind of made sense like okay now Iunderstand you know each of those things I did now is going to quitbecause now I understand all of those area which was why I was really theonly one that was to do it and I actually talked about in my book howthe day that I became president interestingly honestly it was one ofthe worst days of my life because it was this it was this confirmation thatOh my Gosh JD is really not getting better. Like this is really happening.And um you just kept thinking one day they were going to go, you know, wefigured it out JD is going to get better and you everyone's gonna, youknow, so so it was like for 20 years I thought if only I could have moreresponsibility whatever. Then all of a sudden I became the president and myfirst journal entry was I wish I was still the teacher guy because I now itwas like I used to wonder you know, how does JD sleep at night knowing thereare 500 families depending on him and his dad to make good decisions becauseyou know about that it's not just the 500 people that work for you there,it's their families and then all these corporate partners, you know Fedex marsToyota, they have thousands of employees that every week are lookingto us to make smart decisions. And it's a lot easier to be a, you know, a chiefof staff giving advice than being the one that actually has to do this stuff.And so that transition for me was tough. So that that's kind of how my journeywent. It was very, you know, I could have scripted 1000 scripts and thiswould not have been one of them. And you know, my name isn't Gibbs and I'mthe president of their family business, which joe literally be started so hecan hand it to his sons and his other son. Coy, fortunately he's with us andhe's you know he's co chairman with joe. And um you know I I get to work, I getthe privilege of working with Two Gibbs is but um what worked on our motorcross team for many years, he played football at stanford and then went andwe started a motor cross team, so he wasn't in the day to day operations ofthe national car part for the first for the firstwhile. So all that to say it was, it was a very wild journey. And one thingI wanted to know it was, you know, most leadership books are written from theperspective of what I call the alpha leader, you know, that type, which iswhat joe is, that, that's who I as you know, I work, I work for the Uber Alphaleader walks in the room, that's the person in charge, you know, and I amnot that I am very opposite of that I am and mine is more a theme ofreluctant leadership and I think that resonates with people. And so I I thinkthat's one of the things that's unique about the book, is actually itcontrasts the two of us. If I were an alpha leader, we would have killed eachother a long time ago anyway. And so I think our complimentary leadershipstyles have been what makes it work. And I kind of detail that book, sowhichever one you relate to more, I...

...kind of walked through both of them umyou know, and so all that to say it's a long answer, but it was a very um youknow, nonconventional Journey. That was not one that I ever could have scriptedout, which is actually why I wrote a book about it. Yeah, well, it was verybitter sweet for you. I mean, all the hard work and then you lose your bestfriend. Um so that had to be very difficult, but you're also part of thefamily. I know your last name doesn't have Gibbs in it, but it uh from ourfrom our story, you know, that you're telling us is that you've been a partof their family for a long, long time, and that's why they trusted you to takeover this leadership role. And they've seen your the success you've had, andand I love the what you say in your book about, kind of do more than whatyou're worth. I think that's kind of what you were saying in your book. So,tell us tell us a little bit about the points like in your first chapter ofyour book, you you have some points that you should live by, and I thinkthat it was really good and I like that I'm I'm really I want my son to readyour book just because he's starting out in sport management. He's interningat the Hall of Fame this summer, which is really exciting. Yeah. And then, butI want him to under you know, you got to do all these extra things that thatyou don't want to do, but you need to do. But I talk about there's kind offive sections. The first section, yes, delivering more than you cost. And theidea is, if you want to have job security, I talk about making yourselfindispensable and the way you make yourself, you'll be that person theyabsolutely can't do without. And, and, you know, when you're an unpaid interndelivering more than you cost is very low bar, but I would argue, you know,hey, tom brady makes a lot of money to deliver more than he costs. Absolutely.And so, and, and particularly when I talked to students or people startingout, there's easy steps that are a choice. It's not, you don't have to bea, you like earlier about these gifted people. These are choices there. Sowhat's one of them be great at? Little things? Never say that's not my job.You know, I talk about being a fountain, not a drain. That person that you know,makes other people around them better. I mean who is the most valuable personon any team? It's a person who makes everyone around them better. And that'sa particularly hard one. I think for younger people, your son and I think mysons are probably similar ages, think about their whole life. It's been acompetition. You're competing for a grade point average, you're competingto get class rank to get into college to make a team. So it shouldn't be asurprise that when they enter the workforce, they have a me, me, me, youknow, I'm gonna I'm gonna climb to the top. Why would you ever think one ofthem is going to go, hey, how do I how do I make things to be better or how doI, you know what I mean? Yet a decision maker? I can tell you it's the latter.It's the it's the other people, it's the others focus. People that areactually the best team players that that person that you say that personmakes he or she makes everyone around them better. There encourager their,you know, whatever it is. And so these are little steps that that I think, youknow, when you're sitting in a broom closet going, how do I what's my path?Often we're thinking about I wish I had that corner office. I wish I had thistitle when the reality is just be great where you are right now. Be great w youcan't plan or dream, be really good at what you do and and being great atlittle things that leads to being entrusted with bigger things. Right?Right. And I love the part of your story where you talked about, uh, whowon the championship and and the other three drivers. You really talk about itlike Fedex is there. But you know, this is this is this is the last racist forall the marbles. And there's a guy who won, there's the other three whohaven't won. They're all P. O. You know, they're upset and you go see them first,which I thought was amazing. Well, it's not your first, I will be the first tosay that's not your first inclination.

And again, we're the only sport wherewhen we go to our championship game, you know, it's not you either won oryou lost. When one team wins, you have to be sensitive that three other teams,you know, didn't win, and and those partners and the workers that you havethat work on those are just as important you and you know, it wasagain, same analogy if you have multiple kids, you know what I'mtalking about, al gore gonna raise two of them collapse crying because theydidn't win, and the one who wins, where do you, what do you do? You know? Youknow, it's not going to be a three way tie. So yeah, I think all those thingsin there, but um, are are important and they're hard. But I think one of thethings and that I've learned is the lesson of delivering more than you costisn't just as a person. I think it's also as a company. If you want to keepcustomers, hey deliver more value to them, they're paying you and you'llalways have a customer. That's our philosophy with our folks. As if Fedexis paying us for X, Y and Z. At the end of the year, we want to say best moneywe ever spent by over delivering, you know. Well I can't you know, how manysquare feet did you say this facility was our main ones? About 250. And thenwe have actually one right down the road for our Triple A. Are Xfinity team.That's another 100,000. So yeah, it's like a Nasa facility. It's massive. Andhow many square feet was the first garage? Less than 10,000 with 50 peopleand very few offices. Thus the broom closet for your right. Right for Dave.We're gonna hate Dave. We got this great office for you. Yeah. It alsoincludes sweeping up the garage every now and then. It just has no electricaloutlets because it kind of used to be a closet. So Yeah, no that's that'sawesome. That's awesome. So you have all this incredible experience withwith joe Gibbs, his family, his team he's built and you've seen it grow fromthe bottom up and and now you say I'm going to take all this experience andthis leadership that I've learned from, like you say, one of the alpha leadersthat was not only in racing but also in the NFL within Two Hall of Fame, whichis which is amazing. And uh so you go to write this book, tell me about howit started for you because it seems like it was a natural fit. Because youjournal. It's funny. I I actually appreciatebecause it wasn't um I'm also very A. D. D. And it's hard for me to write for anextended journal. Perfect. Because you can write a couple of thoughts and thenyou're done book book. Not so much. Um the quick story is about 10 years agomy father who I mentioned earlier he was going to write a memoir about hisCIA days and none of us, I didn't know where my dad worked till I was 16. Soyou know we're all excited. My dad's gonna finally write a book and he gotabout three chapters through it and he got cancer and I urged him your dad letme record all your stories and that way. If you can't finish it I'll make sure.And you know my dad was an optimist and he didn't let me and my dad passed away.And you know I only got three chapters of his book done well I appreciate that.And and you know, I've often thought you know, he deprived us and futuregenerations of that amazing story. And so it was, it was when my dad died thatI told my wife, I said look my story and keep in mind at the time JD wasn'tsick and I wasn't yet. But I just said, hey look, my story is my dad's but Iwant our boys and their kids to know this amazing story of joe gibbs racingand how I started in a broom closet. So I'm gonna write a book. So I set up anapp on my phone that was called book on the notes app. And honestly for thenext 56 years every time I get on a plane, which was a lot I would just youknow, or I would be in the car and I would voice memo, you know, treatpeople like us old transaction or just something that I discovered or learnedor thought of and and about three years ago. You know, again deep into JD'sillness, just sort of all felt like all right, this is the time to aggregateall these notes. And I wrote up his...

...proposal and was able to get apublishing deal. And then it took, it took about two years from working witha had a writer to help me who I described as an interior designer. Hetook all my thoughts and the furniture and rearranged it and coherent better.Um, yeah, we and we did it and we turned, I mean we turned the manuscriptin all the way last june and so and so editing and now there's the marketingof it. So all that to say it was a very long process. The writing of it for mecame in short spurts. I would wake up an hour early, two or three days a week.That was all I could do at times, like an hour. And then my brain would be, Iwas like, it would turn to mush and some mornings I would write nothing. Um,and honestly, I'll share this with you the month before I turned it in, justover a year ago, I told my wife, I'm going to the publisher and I'm going toreturn everything and I'm not turning this book and I'm not doing it. I justdon't like it. Like I, I thought, and again, that's part of my personality isjust lack confidence. And I thought, no one's gonna want to read this. I'mhaving trouble putting it all together. And, you know, the publisher urged me,no, this is really good. I think you've got something here. And so anyway, I'mglad I went through with it and I now have done some really great feedbackand I'm glad and glad that I wrote it actually. So I hope it encourages folks.It's not meant to discourage anyone. I wanted to be really an encouragement.Oh yeah, definitely. I mean, coming from selling 70 Redskin joe gibbs tshirts, joe gibbs racing t shirts at RFK, you're writing a book. You know,you think about your path is incredible. I mean, uh, it reminds me of when Iinterviewed Matthew McConaughey. Right? He's a huge skins fan. Yeah. And hejust wrote that, wrote a book called Green Lights. But he's the same waywhere he journal do everything like store his his from when he was a kid,right? He said, I just got to write it all down and he did. And he had allthese journals and his thing was he went out instead of doing voice memos,He went out to the desert and kind of started writing this book. You know, hehad to be a little more dramatic than, you know, getting on a plane. But uh,it reminds me of that because even though you say that it didn't kind ofgo together. But I really think it did because you put all your thoughts downand you can see them and then somebody could help you organize them. I mean, Ihave my wife read my stuff that I write all the time because she's 1000 timesbetter than I would ever be. Well. That's good. And interestingly one ofmy sons and three boys and there are really smart kids and one of my boys,Austin all the boys were actually very boston. I would honestly, I would sendhim chapters and I would send him late at night and by the time I woke up themorning he would read Mark stuff and I was like you are like you need to dothis for a living. And he, this is after college, he's got a full time joband he had a gift. So I did have some help and he would say yeah dad, I don'tlike the way he said this or whatever. So I had some help from my family.Again day thomas who helped me collaborate, did a great job. I amhappy with the way that it turned out and got some affirmation from somefolks. You know I sent the manuscript to a few folks who were there from thebeginning and said look I can't remember what I had for breakfastyesterday. So can you make sure the way that I described this is correct? Andso I got some of that, And what was really cool for me was a few months ago,I got to record the audio book, so that it's me reading audio book, you know,to think recording audio book, are you serious? So, if you're really bored andyou want to listen to me for, I don't know how long it takes start to finish,probably 67 hours, but you can get the audio book too. But that's how I loveto read is listen. Yeah, yeah. I'm like, you like, I start reading and you know,my my attention span goes real shorten. Yeah, Yeah. It's like, uh, you know,for me, for golf, I figured that's why I'm not, like, really good at golfbecause, you know, you're if around takes like 4.5 hours, I'm like, out ofit, you know, we don't get me into gulf because I I was affiliated...

...about three, I'll tell you real quickabout three years ago, our friends at Fedex, you know, they invited me toplay in the pro am at the ST jude classic. I told the guy, I told mybuddy Fedex I would, you know, I'm not a good golfer, but I'm going to killyou if you put us in a high profile group. Oh, no, no, we're good, we'regood. And the night before I get to Memphis and he still hasn't told me andI text him and I'm like, you gotta tell me who were playing with him. He goes,all right, we're playing with john daly and Brett Baer from Fox News was like atwo handicap and I literally replied, I'm going to kill you. And so I had tohumiliate myself for the whole day. And honestly, I came home and I told mywife, I said, I know I'm not going to take lessons or practice as much as Ineed to get better, so I'm done. And I quit, I quit like three years ago, I'mnot playing golf anymore, I'm too competitive, bad at something. It ishard though, like when you are competitive and it's just like, wheredo these ships come from? I don't know, I don't understand it, it's like, andthen I've played a lot of programs and then all of a sudden there's fans like,oh, I hit one of his fans, That's crazy, you have? No. Oh my gosh! So yeah, wenever played more. It was probably 100 and 50 people because we teed off atlike 7 30 in the morning, by the way, both of those guys were delightful. Imean, the nicest guy, john daly, literally was giving me lessons by thesixth hole. He was like shifting my hips and he couldn't have no, he couldnot have been nicer. So I just was were you, were you holding his beer andcigarette at the same time? That I will not make a comment on that. But theremight have been both, there might there might have been both involved that, butit was something, there was something in a little red cups. Yeah, it was, itwas no nicer. Hey, I I appreciate you coming on and telling me your story. Ithink it's great. And we're talking about taking the lead, your, your bookout and all these things. But you know, I wanted to ask you one last thing waslast year with the pandemic. It was really hard for a lot of sports teamsand how did Nascar and joe Gibbs racing take on the pandemic and really keeptheir fans engaged in everything that was happening. So gus I'm actually gladyou mentioned that. It was really remarkable. So if I'm honest, thepandemic hits and we're about Five races into a 36, we have a long season,five races into a 36 race season. And as I mentioned before, you know, all ofour revenue comes from sponsors who are paying you to be on TV every week. Sothere was a few weeks for us, as there were from any businesses where wethought if we don't race this whole year, I don't know how we're gonna make,I mean, you're just wondering as a business, how are we going to do so?Well, like you said, you had 500 families count on it, 100 and right.And now they can't come into work, there's no race to prepare a car for.And so you're just kind of wondering what are we going to do? And it was oneof the more amazing things I have often said, I'll just say, I know I'm, youknow, I'm biased because I work in Nascar, but I think, I think Nascar ismaybe the best sport we are at our best when there's trouble when there's whensomething during the crisis, we just, we have a way of rallying together. Andso there were non stop zoom calls, literally from from the day that we, itwas Atlanta that we shut down with the teams. I mean it was a grind and it wasworking with local governments tracks and how can we do this? And if youwould have asked me in March, will you face this year, I would have said, gosh,it will probably august or september at best. And Nascar's credit, We had, wemissed 10 weeks. We started up in May and we were able to do, you know,double headers and so forth, caught up. It ended up being, you know, really theonly sport last year, the full, you know, during the pandemic to complete afull season without an asterisk. Um it was, and on top of that, what wasreally cool was the first week we missed. But after that, until that 10weeks later when we actually got on a...

...real race track, we did virtual racingwhere, you know Fox, who was the broadcaster, Jeff Gordon and Mike Joyand the real broadcast crew and the real drove a simulated race, which ontv looked very real. You know, our sport is one where the driver actuallydrives it and it feels the same playing video game as it does. And so webroadcast, we were the first sport back with a fake race and got over a millionviewers for event because people had nothing to watch. All right, sure. I'llwatch Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin race on a computer game. And so we wouldn'teven do that to fill tv time until we went back. So, and as a company Again,we had about 10 weeks where folks couldn't come into work. And then oncethey gave us the green light, it was actually a little bit less than once wegot the green light to go race, Anyone who had to physically touch a car wasdeclared essential and they were allowed to come in. So we had a limitedgroup coming in and they were, I mean, our protocols were off the chartsstrict and we were fortunately had no issues and we were able to field carsand it just looked very different, you know, and again, joe as a coach andcoach is like to be in person. So he struggled with not having everybodythere around. You know, he doesn't like the virtual stuff and he was convincedeveryone's on vacation on my coach. They're not on vacation, They can'tcome in. And so, you know, he would, he would, we would do video calls with him,which was kind of wild because that's not really his thing. But Um, it workedhonestly our sport really. I'm very proud of our sport for how we responded.But, and at the same time, I'm grateful now with all sports to see crowds andyou know, the Coca, Cola, this week had, you know, 50,000 fans. And it just, itfeels it feels right. It's great to be back. I started the Pepsi 501 year downin Daytona. I started it, I got to ride in the starting car around the longbefore the race, it was in the pace car and it was in a bonneville, we weredoing about 1 35 they're behind us going like this. I'm hanging on the bargoing around Daytona. It was it was a lot of fun though. It that's great. AndI think that the pandemic and I don't know about your industry and um, Ithink that it's really give an opportunity to look at technology tofor fan engagement and everything else that can happen now. And I think thatthat will grow with a R. And everything else coming out. I think that I'm sureyou guys have used a lot of that through this to really engage your fansand keep them coming keeping apart for sure. And we were so appreciative ofour fans for being patient. I know it was hard, you know the interestingthing about our sport that I said when we did go back without fans, I do thinkNascar had a natural or other sports in terms of feeling more normal for thisreason during our games you can't hear the fans anyway because it's reallyloud. So during the broadcast there wasn't that obvious lack of fans asthere were in some of the other sports where you're like, is it either why isquieter? That sounds like fake piped in noise? The only time seemed weird wasat the end when the guy did is burnout and we get out of the car normally youhear the boos or cheers and nothing and that was kind of weird. But the raceitself, if you clicked on the T. V. You kind of go looks like a race so itlooks like a race. Yeah. Yeah that is kind of cool, you know. Yeah. So David,I appreciate you coming up. Please tell all of our fans how they can find yourbook and how they can follow you and joe gibbs racing on social media andeverywhere. So the book check out taking the lead book dot com. We've gota little site you can read all the endorsements we have from drivers andsome other folks. Coach Gibbs was gracious enough to write my forward andthat's on there and you can click on whatever your favorite retailer is tobuy it, you know, amazon or what have you. Um Yeah and you can check us out. Allof our handles are at joe gibbs racing. So twitter, we've got some phenomenalsocial media folks that give you a lot of inside scoop. Um, if you want tofollow me, I'm on twitter at, at Penske...

P. R. N. S. K. I. But uh, I'm not ahuge, I am, I'm on social media more as a consumer and a producer. But I'd loveit if you'd go to taking the lead book dot com and I will add one lastanecdote. My author proceeds from the book um are all being donated to the J.D. Gibbs legacy Fund. So it enables me to more shamelessly promote the bookbecause uh, anything that I would have made is going to get donated to honormy buddy. So I don't have much shame in in touting the taking the lead book dotcom. Yeah so yeah everybody go to taking the lead book dot com andobviously everything going to the J. D. Gibbs was that J. D. Gibbs Gibbs LegacyLegacy Fund. So uh definitely we'll put that on our social media and weappreciate you coming on today. Um and I want to tell you that this this wasan amazing thing. Uh I've I've been wanting to hear more about Nascar andracing. We interviewed Mario Andretti not too long. You know, you're so good.Which was a lot of fun and hearing that story and hearing your story fromnorthern Virginia and you know it feels like we know each other a little bitjust because we're both we're both Redskins fans and Redskins, you'reyou're part of the joe gibbs family and there's no more nobody more Redskinthan joe joe gibbs. So thanks dave for joining me on how to up with Gus. Iappreciate it, it was my pleasure. I really appreciate it. Thanks again. Heyeveryone we want to thank uh Dave Alperin for joining us today on huddleup with Gus. I want to thank 16 31 Digital News, my whole team, Teri andIan uh and super producer brian to uh you know helping me through all thisand then we want to thank Sounder FM for hosting us. Dave, thank you so muchfor joining us on huddle up with Gus everyone go check out his book attaking the lead book dot com and just know that all the proceeds from thebook for him goes to the J. D. Gibbs Legacy Fund who was a very good friendand if you listen to the podcast obviously you'll know that was hisfriend. He they were friends for a long time. He's been a part of the Gibbsfamily um Since the early 80s and Dave Man. What a story, appreciate youcoming on and sharing it and check it out at taking the lead book.com. Andwe'll see you next week on the huddle up with gusts And that's a wrap sports fan. Thanksfor joining in the fun at the 1630 one digital studios for another to huddleup with Gus featuring 15 year NFL quarterback Gus Ferrand, huddle up withGus is Proudly produced by 1631 digital media and is available on apple music.

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