RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 6, 2000) -- It will be exactly 350 days since the last time Ray Evernham slid on his famous disguise of headset, hat and sunglasses to go to work at a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race. On the evening of Sept. 9, Evernham will...
RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 6, 2000) -- It will be exactly 350 days since the last time Ray Evernham slid on his famous disguise of headset, hat and sunglasses to go to work at a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race. On the evening of Sept. 9, Evernham will officially return to the track as the owner of the No. 19 Motorola Evernham Motorsports team at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
"This is the longest break from working at the track in my whole life," Evernham said.
Evernham's last race was at Dover (Del.) Downs International Speedway Sept. 26, 1999. Although he hasn't been directly working on the NASCAR circuit, Evernham has been busy preparing and refining everything from shop machinery to office accounting to the men and women that make up his team. One of those team members is 20-year-old NASCAR Winston Cup Series newcomer Casey Atwood. "Casey surprised me with his natural charisma," Evernham said of his young driver. "I expected his talent -- that's why I hired him -- but he's got the total package."
The No. 19 Motorola Evernham Motorsports team was formed to allow Evernham and Atwood access to authentic NASCAR Winston Cup Series experience in preparation for the team's 2001 debut with Dodge. Motorola, the "Official Communications Company of NASCAR" will support the team for three races in 2000, including Richmond, Martinsville (Va.) Speedway Oct. 1 and Miami-Homestead Speedway Nov. 12.
The Motorola Evernham Motorsports team spent Aug. 28-29 testing the Motorola car and developing their communication skills for race day. "Our radio communication is still under development -- we're still working on understanding each other's accents," Evernham said with a grin. (Evernham is a native of New Jersey, Atwood was born in Tennessee.)