Evernham Motorsports Names Elton Sawyer as Team Director of The 2005 Hungry Drivers Racing Program
Sawyer To Lead Evernham Motorsports First Full Time NASCAR Busch Series Program
Darlington, SC (November 12, 2004) -- Evernham Motorsports announced today in a press conference at Darlington Raceway that Elton Sawyer will lead their first full time NASCAR Busch Series effort as Team Director of the No. 6 Hungry Drivers; Racing Dodge team with primary driver Paul Wolfe behind the wheel, effective immediately.
Sawyer, a Chesapeake, VA native, started racing late models at the age of 16 and would go on to compete successfully in the NASCAR Busch Series for over twenty years. To date, he is ranked second in all time starts among past and present NASCAR Busch Series drivers with 392 starts. Over the years, Sawyer proved that he was not your average weekend race car driver. He could often be seen staying late to work on his own cars well after his team members had gone home for the night.
After putting his driving shoes aside, Sawyer decided to put his racing experience and knowledge to use by educating and mentoring younger drivers coming into the sport. In 2002, Sawyer worked with a team on the Busch Series circuit, coaching up-and-coming drivers on a variety of aspects of the racing business, including both on track and off issues.
While at Daytona in JuIy of 2003, Sawyer struck up a conversation with Evernham whom he had first met in 1992 when both worked for Bill Davis Racing, Evernham as crew chief and Sawyer as a chassis specialist. Evernham was giving serious consideration to starting a driver development program of his own and was interested in what Sawyer had been doing as far as coaching younger drivers. Two months later, Sawyer was hired by Evernham as Director of Dodge Research and Development a position that would help prepare him for the role he would take on a year later -- team director of Evernham Motorsports Hungry Drivers; Racing program.
Lisa Klauser, Vice President Integrated Marketing Capabilities, Unilever Foods, thinks that Sawyer is a perfect match for the Hungry Drivers; program.
"We have high expectations for the 2005 season and Elton will play a pivotal role in our success. We are happy to have him on board and are very impressed with his credentials. We feel that Elton's experience behind the wheel and his experience in working with younger drivers is a perfect fit for the Hungry Drivers; team concept."
Sawyer is looking forward to his new role as Team Director of Evernham Motorsports' first full time NASCAR Busch Series effort and to being a part of the unique Hungry Drivers; program.
"I am very excited about the opportunity to lead Evernham Motorsports first full time Busch Series effort," said Sawyer. "I have the utmost respect for Ray Evernham and what he has achieved over the years in this sport. I look forward to being a mentor to Paul Wolfe and to helping Evernham Motorsports and Unilever Foods brands Ragu®, Hellmann's®, Country Crock®, Lawry's® and Lipton® achieve that same kind of success with their NASCAR Busch Series program. The Hungry Drivers; program is right up my alley as far as mentoring and coaching younger drivers. I feel that my 20 years of experience as a driver will be helpful in developing these young talents into their full potential."
For Ray Evernham, the decision to allow Sawyer to lead the No. 6 Hungry Drivers; Racing program was an easy one.
"Elton was the obvious choice when I was determining who was best suited to lead this team and endeavor for Evernham Motorsports," said Evernham. "His knowledge about race cars is both extensive and impressive. He has the knowledge and skill to bring along new talent and I am confident in his ability to work with and develop our drivers to help them achieve success on the race track."
Evernham Motorsports also announced today that Paul Wolfe would be the primary driver of the No. 6 Hungry Drivers; Dodge for the 2005 season.
About The Hungry Drivers; Program:
The Hungry Drivers; program, sponsored by Unilever Foods, has partnered with Evernham Motorsports to give up and coming "hungry drivers" the opportunity of a lifetime by giving them the chance to get behind the wheel of the NASCAR Busch Series No. 6 Dodge to prove their talent to the racing world.
After an impressive performance in the Hungry Drivers; inaugural year, Paul Wolfe has been named as the primary driver for the 2005 season and will compete in up to 25 races on the NASCAR Busch Series circuit throughout the season. Continuing its theme of discovering new talent, additional "hungry drivers" will be named throughout the year to showcase their skills in selected NASCAR Busch Series events.