BUSCH: Evernham Motorsports signs Crocker

Evernham Motorsports Signs Erin Crocker to Driver Development Program STATESVILLE, N.C. (December 8, 2004) -- Evernham Motorsports announced today that it has signed sprint-car star Erin Crocker to a development deal that will allow the hottest...

Evernham Motorsports Signs Erin Crocker to Driver Development Program

STATESVILLE, N.C. (December 8, 2004) -- Evernham Motorsports announced today that it has signed sprint-car star Erin Crocker to a development deal that will allow the hottest young female driver in racing to compete next year in the Silver Crown, ARCA and NASCAR Busch Series.

Crocker, the first female to win a World of Outlaws race, caught the attention of Ray Evernham and Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year Kasey Kahne for her performance in open wheel racing.

Evernham Motorsports partnered with Kasey Kahne Motorsports and has signed Crocker to an agreement that involves her running the Silver Crown Series in a Kasey Kahne Motorsports car, along with three Busch races and three ARCA races in an Evernham Dodge. Sponsors for the program have not yet been announced.

"This is like a dream come true," said Erin Crocker. "When Ray Evernham called, I was considering several options. But once that phone rang, my mind was made up. It is an unbelievable opportunity to race for him -- if you consider what he done with other rookies such as Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne. This is a chance for me to learn as much as I can, in several different types of cars, from the best in the business. I get to race with a team that focuses on innovation and inspiration, and drive for a leader who puts teamwork, engineering and technology first. It's absolutely incredible."

Crocker, who grew up in Wilbraham, Mass., in a racing family, ran her first event -- a quarter midget race -- at age seven. She soon progressed through the ranks of open wheel racing, collecting awards at every level. Crocker also graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York in the spring of 2003 with a bachelor's degree in Industrial and Management Engineering. Last season, she competed in the World of Outlaw series in 410 winged sprint cars for Woodring Racing. She won a race at Tulare, California and brought home the "410 Wild Card" award, previously won by Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne.

"We're thrilled to sign a driver with Erin's talents to Evernham Motorsports," said Ray Evernham, president and CEO of Evernham Motorsports. "I'm a big fan of open wheel racing and the talented drivers who come out of those series. I'm always watching the sprint car and Silver Crown series because it's exciting racing, but it's also a great place to find talented, young drivers,"

Evernham said the addition of Erin Crocker furthers his team's efforts to diversify. "We believe that NASCAR and all forms of racing should be open to everyone, whether you want to drive the car or work on the team. This is part of our ongoing growth initiative -- we not only want to win the NASCAR Nextel Cup championship but we want to provide opportunities and help people succeed at all levels."

Both Kahne and Evernham agree that Crocker is the "real deal" with the talent to win races.

"I've seen her out-run the guys I used to compete against, so I know she's got talent and confidence," said Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. "She really knows how to handle a race car, and I think she's going to be great in every series in which she competes."

Crocker has already moved to Charlotte, N.C. to prepare for her intensive training program. When not racing, Crocker likes to participate in outdoor sports, shop and spend time with her friends and family.

About Evernham Motorsports
Evernham Motorsports is a leading team in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Founded by CEO Ray Evernham in 2000, the team is in its fourth season of competition at the highest level of NASCAR racing; with drivers Jeremy Mayfield in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge, Kasey Kahne in the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge and Bill Elliott in the No. 91 Evernham Motorsports Dodge. For more information on Evernham Motorsports, visit www.evernhammotorsports.com.

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About this article
Series ARCA , NASCAR XFINITY , USAC
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Kasey Kahne , Ray Evernham , Erin Crocker