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Big Bob Gibson Rolls The Jack!
Nov 17, 2011

The Jack Daniel’s Invitational isn’t for the faint of heart. Any team looking to come up big in Lynchburg needs to be at the top of their game to qualify and then lucky enough to be drawn into the Jack field. Winning the Kingsford Points Chase event at the Jack is that much more difficult. Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, a team consisting of Chris Lilly, Don McLemore, Ken Hess, Owen Lilly and Bill Bullen, stepped up to the plate at the Jack Daniel’s Invitational and took home the Kingsford win.
Chris, the captain of the Big Bob Gibson ship, says the Jack Daniel’s Invitational is a goal of theirs when they begin every year.
“The Jack is obviously one of the most prestigious events, and we went there to win,” explained Lilly. “We’re there for one thing. We’re there to put the best product forward and hope for the best from the judges.”
In the overall competition, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q fell short of their attempt to pull off a ‘double’ victory, securing the Kingsford win but just missing out on the Grand Championship by a fraction of a point. With Smokin’ Hoggz BBQ, and their 686.2 score, taking home the Grand Championship, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q was narrowly edged out at 685.7 and are now looking to the future for redemption.
“A close loss is always difficult of course,” explained Lilly. “We’re proud of Reserve Grand, but what a  difference a point would have made!”
Electing to participate in the Kingsford Points Chase at the Jack was never a question for Lilly and Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q.
“That’s my go-to product no matter what,” said Lilly. “No matter if I’m cooking in the backyard or for 1,500 people out of state, I’ve been using Kingsford since 1997.”
When it came down to putting together a solid effort on the grill, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q has their focus squarely on creating the best possible barbecue they can manage. From the level of competition to the uniqueness of the event itself, the Jack never fails to create an extra challenge for the competitors.
“The cook went great,” said Lilly. “The turn-in times are a bit different so you definitely have to adjust for that. Central to the whole competition is the quality of the product we start with and, of course, the fuel we use, which is always Kingsford.”
While choosing a best category can at times be as difficult as a parent naming their favorite child, Lilly, when pressed, said it was the ribs that played as the star performer of their Jack weekend.
“Its difficult to pick,” hemmed Lily. “Out of all the product we made, and if I’m being honest, without a doubt, the best was the ribs. Our ribs were flat-out excellent.”
Lilly then came back and was quick to remind that single category dominance doesn’t mean Championships.
“In a four-category cook, the name of the game is always going to be consistency.”
With an elite performance at both Memphis In May and the Jack Daniel’s Invitational plus a Kingsford win under their belts, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q will now start preparing for 2012 and working to improve on their already consistently strong performances.

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