News 97-11-20

NASCARFans E-Mail List Gary DeHart has left Hendrick Motorsports and will be the General Manager/Crew Chief for Lyndon Amick's ...

NASCARFans E-Mail List

Gary DeHart has left Hendrick Motorsports and will be the General Manager/Crew Chief for Lyndon Amick's #35 BGM Pontiac team(RPM2Nite) / Jayski ===== Bill Elliott underwent surgery Wednesday to remove plates and screws from his left hip. The hardware was inserted in his hip in April, 1996, following a crash at Talladega. Bill is doing fine, and is undergoing therapy on the leg. (Chaz Hinkle, AP, Jayski) ===== I haven't heard anything at all about Jeff Gordon's surgery that was supposed to take place right after Atlanta. Perhaps he postponed it due to winning the championship. If anyone has any "CONCRETE" news about this, let me know at mailto:Mike@NASCARFans.Com ===== "On Feb. 15, 1998, more than 40 drivers will pursue that trophy and their share of a NASCAR-record $6 million in posted awards. The posted awards for the 1998 Daytona 500 are a record for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. To date, no NASCAR Winston Cup event has paid awards equaling $5 million or more."(DaytonaUSA) / Jayski ===== Jayski hears that Goodyear is prepared to use the rain tires that were tested last year if it rains during the exhibition race in Japan, which is on a road course ===== Jayski hears Cale Yarborough Motorsports(#98) has signed Thorne Apple Valley as their primary sponsor, but....he hears Rich Bickle may not take the deal with the #98 and may instead sign with Washington-Erving instead. ===== Ed Berrier has signed a deal to drive the full BGN schedule in 1998 for the #77 PRW Racing Lear Ford team. The announcement was made during the broadcast of the ARCA race at Atlanta by one of the broadcasters. No idea if he will continue to drive for Sadler Racing. (Jayski) ===== Jayski hears Michael Jordon may join Washington-Erving as a partner. ===== Long but well worth including, an article by Shawn Akers of NASCAR Online:

Evernham silences departure rumors

You win your second NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship in three years and all of a sudden the rumors start flying about your departure from the most prestigious organization in motorsports. Such is the life of a high-profile crew chief in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. But because he's Ray Evernham, crew chief for the newly-crowned NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion DuPont Refinishes team, and because his driver is Jeff Gordon, he's come to expect such scrutiny. Because Evernham recently made the comment that some day he'd like to take on responsibilities at a higher level in the sport, a "USA Today" article last week stated that Evernham's departure from his current position was imminent. Evernham quickly dispelled those rumors. "I was very disappointed in that article because it was well taken out of (con)text," Evernham said. "Everybody has got to move on. I look at my future some day in a different role. I want to get more involved in the business side of the sport. I have some really great people that work with me that are going to need to move up. I would like for my role not to have to be crew chief some day." Gordon, who has been with Evernham since Gordon's days as a NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division rookie, downplayed the article as well. "I can only tell you the facts and truth -- Ray and I have talked and that's a bunch of nonsense," Gordon said. "I think Ray is an honest person and he has maybe told some people that he doesn't see himself as a crew chief forever. I don't blame him. That's a stressful job." Not that Evernham has grown weary or bored of his present duties. Winning races and championships have been enough to keep the 38-year-old motivated plenty. Gordon and the DuPont team have won 29 races over the last four years and have finished 8th, 1st, 2nd and 1st in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings over that period of time. Evernham has helped build the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet team into the most successful organization in NASCAR Winston Cup racing in a short five-plus years with Hendrick Motorsports. But even when Evernham decides to take his career in another direction somewhere down the road, that doesn't mean he will leave Hendrick Motorsports. "I would like to be part owner," he said. "I would like the rest of my racing career to be involved with Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon, maybe not in the same capacity as it is now, but I would like Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham to look at what's going to be the future. "I want to make an impact and help the sport as much as I can. I am very pleased with NASCAR and the things it does. As fast as the sport is growing, I want to be a big part of it. I don't see myself as being a crew chief five years from now. Those are not my goals. My first option, I would never want to leave Jeff or Rick. I hope we can all go in the same direction." Gordon's and Evernham's career success have paralleled each other. With the two working together for such a long period of time, their rise to the cream of the crop in NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing certainly has been no coincidence. And, at least for right now, Gordon doesn't want to even speculate about life as a driver without his friend and mentor. "Even though I think he's a great crew chief, I think he's even better at organizing the people and putting together a great race team," Gordon said. "I still see that happening at Hendrick Motorsports involved with Jeff Gordon. I see that happening far down the road. I don't see that (Evernham stepping out as crew chief) happening next year or the next two or three years. I want to be with Ray Evernham for a long time. He told me he wants to be with me. We make an awesome team. We'd be crazy to split that up. "We're going to work together with all our powers to make sure we stick together for a long time. We would love to do it with Rick Hendrick. He's an incredible individual and he has great resources." =====

Mike Irwin (mailto:mike@nascarfans.com) NASCAR Fans _______________________________________

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rich Bickle , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Lyndon Amick , Ed Berrier , Ray Evernham , Cale Yarborough
Teams Hendrick Motorsports