LMS Media Tour: Ray Evernham quotes from Evernham Motorsports Stop
RAY EVERNHAM (President, CEO Evernham Motorsports)
DO YOU THINK THIS WILL BE A BREAKTHROUGH YEAR FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION?
"We hope so. We're putting everything in place to do that. Look at 2003 with Bill and Jeremy. Jeremy ran second a couple of times and Bill had that problem at Homestead and Chicago, I think we got beat on fuel mileage. We were on the verge of multiple wins in 2003. We were on the verge again in 2004. If we can just keep putting ourselves in position, taking those shots on goal, it's got to come. If both of these cars won more than one race this year I don't think anyone would be surprised."
WHAT HAS TO HAPPEN FOR KASEY TO WIN?
"I don't think he has to do anything different. He has to concentrate on communicating what he needs in a car to go 500 miles and probably not run so hard early. I think that will take care of itself."
IS IT POSSIBLE THAT IT MIGHT TURN OUT FOR THE BEST THAT KASEY DIDN'T WIN LAST YEAR?
"I feel bad for the kid. I think to let him have just one would have been nice. Having that many seconds and that many top fives, I think he ended up with about 14 top fives. That's kind of like torture. I think it would have still been a lesson if we could have got him just one."
WAS HE IN A LOT OF AGONY ON THE WAY HOME AFTER FINISHING SECOND?
"I was. They kid me a lot. When we run second, I don't yell and scream and throw stop watches. I used to, but I don't anymore. We talk like we deserve to win. What's keeping us from winning? When we win, I'll be happy. When we run second, I'm not happy. I hate to run second?"
WHAT MADE YOU HIRE ERIN CROCKER (AS A BUSCH, ARCA DRIVER)?
"Her record and comments I was getting from other drivers. When I met with her, just like when I met with Kasey, there's just something about them and you know they've got it. If they can get going with the personality, they should be able to be a real superstar. She's cute as a button. She's bubbling with personality, and she believes she can knock the wheels off the boys, and I like that. I sent people to Las Vegas to watch her and were actually there the night she won (Outlaw race). I've actually not seen her race yet. I'll probably see her run this weekend in the Copper Classic."
WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR A FEMALE TO MAKE IT IN CUP?
"I think it's going to take a lady who can run in the top 10 consistently. I don't think as competitive as this sport is -- Busch or Cup -- you can't guarantee that anybody's going to win anymore. You can't guarantee that Jeff Gordon's going to win or anybody, you just can't. You look at the people who have gone without wins -- Harvick, Bobby Labonte -- it's hard. If she can go out and run consistently in the top 10 and challenge for wins, I think that would be enough to say a female has legitimately arrived. Our goal is to bring her along slow without putting a lot of pressure on her, get her a lot of experience testing with ARCA and USAC and put her in three Busch races toward the end of the year. I want to put her in more if we can find sponsorship, but our goal is to put her in a full-time Busch Grand National car by 2006."
WHY ARE DRIVERS COMING FROM THE OPEN WHEEL RANKS?
"I think it's about car control, not so much with the wings. I think the Silver Crown Series is a good way. The cars are overpowered and they don't handle real well. With the hard tires and less aerodynamics these cars are moving all over the place. They're able to go fast. If you look at the people that have come out of open wheel, they're fast. Kurt Busch is a late model guys, but he drove Legends car on dirt. Jimmie Johnson drove in the desert -- car control. I just believe that these kids are coming with lots of car control."
WHAT'S IT LIKE WHEN YOU'RE ON TOP?
"You can never beat confidence, that's for sure. The other thing it brings a lot of resources because everybody wants to be a part of your team. It allows you to build that organization, but you've got to be careful because that starts a lot of infighting. It's got to be shared across the board. What Rick and Jack has done, that's what the rest of us have to shoot for right now. Sports in general is cyclical. Look at the NFL or major league baseball, teams have great runs for three or four years and then have to start all over again. Look at the Yankees and the Braves. They stay at the top, but they're not as dominant as they were. Part of that is because of the people. People are really motivated but once you've accomplished a lot it's really hard to stay on that upward curve without taking a jump to another challenge."