RAY EVERNHAM (President, CEO Evernham Motorsports Dodge Chargers) NOTE: Stanley announced Saturday that it will sponsor the No. 10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline Dodge Charger and driver Scott Riggs in 10 races in 2006. Stanley will also co-sponsor the...
RAY EVERNHAM (President, CEO Evernham Motorsports Dodge Chargers)
NOTE: Stanley announced Saturday that it will sponsor the No. 10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline Dodge Charger and driver Scott Riggs in 10 races in 2006. Stanley will also co-sponsor the car in 21 races throughout the season.
"We wanted to put a good program in place with two good American brands like Valvoline and Stanley on the same car. That's really very important. My big fear sometimes is not raising the money. I leave that to other people, but it's making sure that when people commit like these people have that we're not going to let them down. I'm on a mission to make sure that everybody who invests in our program is going to get their return on investment. It really motivates me even more when you have two companies that step up and believe in you enough to give you a third program. The principals from Stanley and Valvoline got together and worked it out on their own and gave me the schedule. I don't have anything to do with it. They just tell me what color to paint it when we go where.
"They're both good, strong American brands and I think the relationship between them is what brought the program together. They started talking about this a few months ago. I think it's going to be a real good sponsorship. It started a few years ago in the sport where people were picking up some primaries and not buying a whole season. The more expensive racing gets, you're going to see more and more companies partner like this so they can get a return on investment. There's enough real estate to go around and with the budgets on these race teams going for $20 million a year, it's hard for one company to look at writing that check. If you get two and you break it back down they can get their return on investment a lot easier."
COMMENT ON BUSCH RACE LAST NIGHT "I'm really concerned about it. I think NASCAR is trying to do something about it with the car of the future. You can't sit here today and go woulda, shoulda, coulda. I think they are listening to some of the things we want in place, but maybe they're not put in place fast enough. They are coming. What they need to look at with these racetracks is not making them faster. Last night the last 30 laps of that race, Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman were running 28.80s when Tony wrecked. That's fast. We just don't need to be going that fast. It really wasn't anything we did with the racecars. Looking at the racetracks and providing better grips and things like that is probably not the right way to provide better races."
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CAN BE DONE TONIGHT OR DO YOU JUST TELL THE GUYS TO BE CAUTIOUS? "How do you tell a guy to go fast and then tell them to be cautious? These cars have very little downforce anymore. The tires are very hard and the racetrack if you look at the grooving in it is inconsistent in the places it has grip. You hit a slick spot in the racetrack you spin out or the cars get side by side and you lose 25 or 30 percent of your downforce and these guys spin out. They're on the edge and they're going fast. They're going to have to be careful tonight. I hope it's not a lot of wrecked cars. I certainly don't want to see anyone hurt, but the drivers are going to have to be on the money tonight."
WHAT KIND OF RACING WOULD YOU CALL THAT LAST NIGHT? "You'll probably have to ask the fans about that. The best race I've seen all year was Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman at Loudon. That's just my opinion. Last night, I don't know that I saw a good race."
COMMENT ON LIMITING NUMBER OF TEAMS "I think it's good to know there's going to be a target. We're within that target, so I don't have to worry about going to four or five and getting bigger and bigger. The bigger you get the harder it is to manage, and as I said, I've been running around the past couple of days worrying about how fast the cars go. It's more important to me to not let these people down. For me to have to dedicate more time to business and less time to competition even makes it more undesirable to grow. I want to spend a good part of my time worrying about how fast my cars go and not how big my business gets. Sometimes the advantage you have is in the people and they (Roush and Hendrick) have good people over there. They've got a 10 or 15-year headstart on me. In the future, if they do have an advantage because of having four or five teams, it would put me on a more level playing field for the future."
EVALUATE YOUR SEASON "For everyone else's expectations you can look at it and say they've had a good season. My partners and Dodge have said for the first time you've put both cars in victory lane. You've won a Busch race. You've got a guy who's going to be on the stage in New York for the third year in a row and you're only a five-year-old program. Our engine shop has grown. We've got that program over in England that's doing well. >From the outside world, our record is actually better than it was last year. From my world, I know we're capable of a lot better results then we're getting. We're off balance with our cars and that frustrates me. I know how good our people are. I know how good my stuff is, and we just can't seem to hit it. Until I've got a car in the top five every week, I'm not going to be happy. It's horsepower, it's downforce, it's good handling, good driver and good pit stops. I've got to work on all those things. Our chassis needs more development. We've been off body wise with our own aero program. Rusty and Ryan are getting theirs to work. We've got to get ours to work. Our engine program is good. I think right now it's the flagship of my division, but I've got to get people more experience, get our pit stops better and get our cars handling better. I know we're better than we've shown here in the last little bit. Like last week at Kansas. Jeremy was a top-five car all day and we dropped back and finished 17th. Kasey Kahne is certainly one of the best newcomers to the sport and his communication to find what he needs in the racecar, we're not getting it done. If I felt like we were operating at 100 percent of our potential and that was the best everyone could do, I'd be happy. Right now, I just don't believe we're operating at 100 percent of our potential and that's my responsibility. It's not the crew chief's fault. It's not the driver's fault. It's not the crew's fault. I'm the guy in charge. I need to get if fixed."
SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline Dodge Charger in 2006)
"To have Stanley come on as a primary co-sponsor for our team next year is pretty overwhelming for me. It's like a dream come true. I know Stanley is a name everyone recognizes. The attire I have on today is probably more of what I wear of what I wear on my days off during the week for my Honey Do List when I get back home. I'd be willing to bet that everyone in here has a Stanley product in their home somewhere, maybe not even knowing it. There's so many products that Stanley produces that I didn't even realize until the relationship began. I'm very proud to be able to step on board with Evernham Motorsports. I know Jeremy and Kasey are two people I've raced with and have a lot of mutual respect for on and off the race track. Ray Evernham pretty much demands respect not only for what he's done in the past but you spend a little time with him and you realize his passion for racing is pretty much like mine. All he wants to do is win races no matter what. He's willing to fight at any length to get that, and that's the kind of relationship I want to be with. This is something that's overwhelming for me to have two great American names that you recognize with Valvoline and Stanley on board next year. I couldn't be prouder. I think it's definitely going to be a big improvement for me going to a team that has so many resources and so many good people and so much more to work with to produce good results and I think the greatest chance to win races that anyone could possibly have. I don't see any reason why we can't go out there and win races. Unfortunately I think the only reason people recognize me these days is because of the spectacular wreck I had at Talladega a couple of weeks ago. Thank goodness we have safe cars these days with NASCAR. I'm not proud of that. I want to be proud of finishing races in the top five and winning races and being a contender. Ray is someone who saw that in me, and I think Valvoline saw that in me for two years."