RAY EVERNHAM RESPONDS ON NASCAR RACEDAY DODGE FLAGSHIP TEAM OWNER ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT MAYFIELD, RECENT PERFORMANCES AND THE FUTURE Evernham Motorsports team owner Ray Evernham, who owns the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Dodge entries...
RAY EVERNHAM RESPONDS ON NASCAR RACEDAY
DODGE FLAGSHIP TEAM OWNER ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT MAYFIELD, RECENT PERFORMANCES AND THE FUTURE
Evernham Motorsports team owner Ray Evernham, who owns the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Dodge entries driven by Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and Scott Riggs, joined the NASCAR RaceDay on SPEED crew and responded to recent criticism about his team and the dismissal of former driver Jeremy Mayfield.
Here is what he had to say to host John Roberts, along with drivers and co-hosts Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace during this past weekend's race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Roberts: Elliott Sadler recently finished in the top 10 (at Michigan International Raceway) behind the wheel of the No. 19 Dodge, which is something, no one else, or the team, has been able to do in this car so far this year.
Evernham: Yes, thanks John. That's right. We feel like we're a three-car team again. Elliott brought communication right away, and the car was fast and it was good to get a top-10 finish finally for that car.
Wallace: One thing that is always a mystery about NASCAR racing is how a team loses chemistry. In the race for the Chase, and with Jeremy Mayfield in it's two years in a row, it's what everyone expects -- and that's what we expect here at NASCAR RaceDay. How do you think chemistry was lost between Jeremy Mayfield and yourself?
Evernham: I don't know, Kenny -- I really don't know a lot of it. I don't understand a lot of it. If you could understand why you lose it, you could understand why you get it. As car owners and teams -- and not just in racing, but football and baseball -- everybody is searching for that chemistry. I really don't know and I can't explain it. I don't know why it goes away and performance drops.
Wallace: I feel you have a great race team, but because you are the leading Dodge team, do you ever feel any pressure that your Dodges should run better than the other Dodges, since you are sponsored by Dodge?
Evernham: Well, I don't. But I do want to address some of the things that were said last weekend and put out some facts about it. I guess Jimmy said, 'you got to be there.' Hey, I am there. I'm there Monday through Thursday, 45 to 55 hours a week and holding 10 to 12 meetings. I've got five different companies. I run those companies. As far as the No. 9 (Kasey Kahne) car, going from third or fourth to 11th in points - we can't control sometimes having some engine failure or crashes and things like that. The loss of those points just the last three or four weeks has hurt that car. We provide a top-10 car just about every week, and at the races, if you look, that we've finished without problems, our car has been in the top 10. And to go on and say that the No. 10 (Scott Riggs) car hasn't met expectations -- I totally disagree with that. The 10 car is a new car, and has performed right up to our expectations. The Valvoline and Stanley people are super happy with it. We've been making top-15 runs, and we're right where we wanted to be with this car. It did miss the Daytona 500, but if you look, it's a lot further ahead in points than a lot of the other cars. I'd compare that to any new team that's out there right now.
Spencer: Alright Ray. Thanks for coming on man, appreciate it. What's the future hold, for the rest of this year, in building the organization to having more than one car, or one shot at the top 10?
Evernham: Well, that's what we're trying to do. As I said, communication is a key. I feel like we're back on with three teams. We're working hard and we've got a lot of exciting things happening for next year. Again, our company has grown 35 percent for two years in a row in size, and in revenue. We're really close to being able to talk about what we're going to be doing with a fourth team here shortly. We've got to go to four teams if we want to compete with Rick Hendrick and Jack Roush and people like that. Evernham Motorsports is continuing to grow, and we're doing everything we can do to put multiple cars in The Chase. It's not just about getting into The Chase; you have to remember it's about winning The Chase. It's about us being a champion. Getting in The Chase isn't good enough anymore.
SPEED, celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2006, is the nation's first and foremost cable network dedicated to motor sports and the passion for everything automotive. From racing to restoration, motorcycles to movies, SPEED delivers quality programming from the track to the garage. Now available in more than 71 million homes in North America, SPEED is among the fastest growing sports cable networks in the country and an industry leader in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services.