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Gibbs as leader 

Jimmy Makar, senior vice president of racing operations at Gibbs Racing, put it in similar terms.

“Joe just brings a special feeling to the team when he’s back in the shop,” said Makar, who was one of Gibbs’s first NASCAR employees. “He’s a great motivator. Just to have him around for a few hours on the shop floor — the guys are still in awe of him and have great respect for him. When he left to go back to football full time, it sort of left a void here. Not to say that J.D. didn’t do a fantastic job of filling Joe’s shoes. But it’ll be great to have them both back here, working together.”

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