Former warrior marching to beat of different drum

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (March 15, 2001) - Two years ago, Ray Evernham was a Rainbow Warrior, part of Jeff Gordon's incredible team that won three Winston Cup championships in a four year span. But, the former Gordon crew chief comes to Texas Motor ...

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (March 15, 2001) - Two years ago, Ray Evernham was a Rainbow Warrior, part of Jeff Gordon's incredible team that won three Winston Cup championships in a four year span. But, the former Gordon crew chief comes to Texas Motor Speedway for the Harrah's 500 (April 1) with a different perspective this time around. Evernham calls all the shots now as team owner.

"I came from where I had everything," Evernham said. "I had the best driver, I had the sponsors, the people that had been together for five or six years. When you put new people together, you can't get things going as fast, or as good. That's not a slam at those people, you just can't expect them to be what the Rainbow Warriors were."

Evernham spent the 2000 season building his team from scratch. The debut of Evernham Motorsports coincided with the return of Dodge to NASCAR this season. He has put veteran driver Bill Elliott (#9) and rookie Casey Atwood (#19) in the two cars on his team.

"I've had to learn to be very patient, and I needed to be more of a teacher - and be patient," Evernham pointed out. "I just see improvement here every day, and I am very proud of these guys. I've never seen a team jell as fast as this one has."

Evernham had 500 days from the time he announced his new team ownership until this year's season-opening race in Daytona. But, being the warrior he is, Evernham met the challenge and hopes to make Dodge a competitive force in Winston Cup.

"My reputation's on the line and my financial future is on the line," Evernham said. "It's good. I like a good fight. And, this is a good fight."

Elliott and Atwood will attempt to qualify their Dodges for Evernham Motorsports at the Harrah's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Free Tickets for O'Reilly Qualifying Day (March 30) are available to fans at all participating O'Reilly Auto Parts locations. Qualifying tickets and race tickets may be purchased through the speedway ticket office by calling (817) 215-8500 or online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com.

-Texas Motor Speedway

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Casey Atwood , Ray Evernham