EVERNHAM MOTORSPORTS ANNOUNCES NEW TEAM STRUCTURE FOR 2006 Team to Implement Changes for Final Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway STATESVILLE, N.C. (November 15, 2005) -- As the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season winds down, planning for 2006 is...
EVERNHAM MOTORSPORTS ANNOUNCES NEW TEAM STRUCTURE FOR 2006
Team to Implement Changes for Final Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway
STATESVILLE, N.C. (November 15, 2005) -- As the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season winds down, planning for 2006 is already well underway at Evernham Motorsports. For President and CEO Ray Evernham, it is anything but business as usual.
Evernham is developing a new architecture for team success, one designed to foster better collective thinking, decision making and intellectual innovation. In 2006, Evernham will do away with the crew chief position on all of his race teams, instead installing a leadership team similar to many corporate structures. Each of the Evernham Motorsports Nextel Cup teams will have a Team Director, a Car Director and an Engineer.
"We set out upon the 2005 season with high expectations and very clear goals of what we wanted to accomplish," said Evernham. "We did achieve Kasey Kahne's first win, Jeremy's win at Michigan and getting Jeremy into the Chase for the Championship for the second year in a row. We launched our Busch program and brought home one win and two poles. But unfortunately we have had a poor fourth quarter for the second year in a row -- and the fourth quarter is when the Nextel Cup is won. We are not satisfied with our performance, and will not settle for another year like this one. This is not good enough for our organization. We are in this to win the Championship."
Evernham designed the new team structure with an eye toward the future and the continued evolution of the sport.
"This new structure does away with the traditional model of the crew chief as the primary decision-maker for the team, instead sharing these responsibilities among the team leadership," noted Evernham. "The job of the crew chief has certainly changed since I held that position. Today, the job of the crew chief is almost too big for one person. When you consider the growing responsibilities of managing the big picture for the team, overseeing all of the details for each race weekend, guiding all of the people and still having time to focus on the competition, it's a challenge. That's why we are creating a leadership team for each of our race teams with a Team Director, Car Director and Engineer."
New Team Structure Realigns Drivers and Crews
For 2006, the leadership and team members of Evernham Motorsports will shift their alignment to better share the knowledge and thought-processes throughout the organization.
* The team that comprises the No. 91 Evernham Dodge Charger today will move to the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger, driven by Jeremy Mayfield. It will be led by Chris Andrews as Team Director. Kirk Almquist will be the Car Director and Tim Malinovsky will be the Engineer. This will allow Chris Andrews to build a team that meets the standards of Evernham Motorsports and has the endurance and momentum to finish strong on the season.
* The No. 19 team will shift to the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger, which Kasey Kahne will continue to drive. Kenny Francis will be the Team Director for the No. 9 team, Mike Shiplett will be the Car Director and Keith Rodden will be the Engineer. This puts the most consistent team and stable environment with Kasey Kahne, giving him the support he needs for a solid season in 2006.
* The No. 9 team will support the new No. 10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Charger and driver Scott Riggs. Rodney Childers is the acting Team Director, and the leadership team will be announced at a later date.
"Just like major corporations move their leadership teams into new assignments every 12 to 24 months to expand their experience and collectively build the organization, we want to share our Group IQ to increase our performance and success," said Evernham. "The No. 19 team is our most stable, consistent team and I want to share that foundation with the No. 9 and Kasey Kahne. I feel like he needs that additional support to be successful. The No. 9 currently has a number of guys who have been with Evernham Motorsports since we opened the doors, and we want them to share that knowledge and history with the No. 10 as our newest team. And the No. 91 team has been built by Chris Andrews, so it makes sense that he continues to lead and grow this team with his new responsibilities on the No. 19."
"I think this is going to be good for our long term success," said Mayfield. "Chris Andrews is a great leader and Tim Malinovsky has great understanding of how we can improve the performance of this car. We've proven we have what it takes to get into the Chase, now we just need the horsepower for next year to keep the momentum going once we get in."
Kasey Kahne supported his teammate's opinion.
"I've really learned a lot from Tommy -- it has been good learning from him over the last two years," said Kahne. "We've become great friends. I've developed a close relationship with him and look forward to continuing to be very good friends. I'm excited that he's going to be able to go after his long-term goals.
"We're looking forward to next season and coming back with a strong car, a strong team and some strong performances," Kahne added. "I look forward to working with the new team structure and getting started with Kenny Francis and Mike Shiplett. We're ready to compete for a spot in the 2006 Chase for the Championship."
The new team structure will be in effect for the final race of the 2005 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2005.
Tommy Baldwin, Team Director of the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger, will serve as a team consultant at Miami before moving on to pursue his dreams of running his own team.
"Tommy will be leaving Evernham Motorsports to hopefully start his own operation," added Evernham. "He's very interested in being a team owner, and I want to help him get started just like Rick Hendrick helped me get started. I've known Tommy since he was 10 or 11 years old, and wish him the very best in the future."
"I appreciate the opportunity to work with Ray for several years," said Baldwin. "I've learned an awful lot from him. I also appreciate him letting me move on and helping me accomplish what I want to accomplish in the future. I came to Ray some time ago and told him this is what I've wanted to do. He didn't have any problems with that. He was in the same position with Rick (Hendrick) when he wanted to move on. Ray has helped me through all this and helped my decision making. I'm thankful for his friendship.
"Kasey and I have talked about this," he added. "He's going to win plenty of races with me or without me. He just has a God-given talent. I'm not worried about that. I'm glad I've become really good friends with him, and hopefully we can carry that into the future."
The remaining positions within the new team structure at Evernham Motorsports are expected to be named in the next few weeks.