Photo credit: Getty Images

Coach Gibbs channels football past with Chase Briscoe recruitment

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- The deal between Joe Gibbs Racing and Chase Briscoe came together quickly, but that doesn't mean it was an uneventful process. Joe Gibbs actually had to channel his days coaching football while pursuing his newest driver.

"Literally, the owner of the race team was calling me two, three times a day and telling me how bad he wanted me," Briscoe said Tuesday at Joe Gibbs Racing. "It wasn't a president or somebody like that."

Briscoe became a bit of a hot prospect once Stewart-Haas Racing announced on May 28 that it would no longer compete in NASCAR after the 2024 season. He had teams such as Wood Brothers Racing and Front Row Motorsports interested in bringing him into the fold.

Gibbs knew that he had to work quickly to facilitate this deal with the Indiana driver.

"(Briscoe) had other choices, and there were people after him," Gibbs said Tuesday. "I think having gone through football -- when I was at colleges, when it was signing day, I would show up at three o'clock in the morning and sit outside the house because I wanted to make sure somebody else doesn't show up.

"But anyway, I think recruiting is something I feel there's kind of a little bit of an art to it and you hope that you can put across the things that you think are important to somebody"

Gibbs and JGR completed the deal in one week

The art of "recruiting" Briscoe unfolded over a whirlwind few days, and it began with Briscoe making the first move. He learned on May 28 that SHR would close at the end of the 2024 season, so he texted multiple people trying to find a spot for next season.

One recipient of a text was Joe Gibbs Racing President Dave Alpern, who called Briscoe back the following day and asked him to meet for breakfast. Two days later, Gibbs briefly spoke on the phone with Briscoe and set up a Sunday morning meeting at WWT Raceway so that they could learn more about each other.

Gibbs called Briscoe Sunday evening after the race outside of St. Louis. Coach knew that Briscoe had a Monday afternoon meeting with the Wood brothers, so he asked him to come to Joe Gibbs Racing that morning for contract discussions.

Briscoe had a contract in hand Tuesday night, but there was just one more hurdle to overcome. He needed to know if Martin Truex Jr. was actually going to retire. The 2017 champion had until Wednesday at 11 a.m. to make his decision.

Wednesday, June 5, at 10:55 a.m., Briscoe received a career-altering phone call, one confirming that Truex was walking away from full-time competition after the 2024 season. It was time for Briscoe to drive to JGR and put pen to paper.

"It did happen crazy fast," Briscoe said about the process of working out his deal. "I say that it started that Thursday (before WWT Raceway) when I went to breakfast, but I didn't hear from him until Saturday. And that's when like... Saturday, Coach called me (for) five minutes.

"Sunday, I finally met with Coach and then he called me Sunday night, said 'Let's meet Monday morning,' I mean, Monday morning, I sit there and 48 hours later had a contract. (Gibbs) told me that I was going to be in the car another 12 hours after that. I don't even know if I had time to process it all."

Seven days -- that's the amount of time between the breakfast with Alpern and Briscoe signing his contract. It was a whirlwind week for the Indiana native, and it all unfolded before he took a clandestine trip to Missouri with Coach so that he could meet Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris.

Gibbs didn't have to camp out in front of Briscoe's house to complete this deal, but he certainly showed he still knows the art of recruitment.