Gordon-Evernham team announces plans By Shawn A. Akers CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 2, 1998) In a long-awaited announcement, the newly-formed Gordon-Evernham Motorsports NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division team revealed its plans Friday for...
Gordon-Evernham team announces plans By Shawn A. Akers
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 2, 1998) In a long-awaited announcement, the newly-formed Gordon-Evernham Motorsports NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division team revealed its plans Friday for the 1999 season, with the Pepsi-Cola Company as its primary sponsor and Jeff Gordon and Ricky Hendrick as its drivers.
GEM, co-owned by Gordon's wife, Brooke, and Ray Evernham, the crew chief for Gordon's No. 24 DuPont Refinishes Chevrolet in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, is scheduled to compete in approximately 12 NASCAR Busch Series races next season. Gordon will drive the No. 24 Pepsi/Frito Chevrolet in five races in 1999 -- at Las Vegas, Texas, Charlotte twice, and Michigan.
In the other events, the car will be manned by Ricky Hendrick, son of Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. Evernham said the races the young driver will run will be announced at a later date. The deal with Pepsi is for 1999 and for a full campaign in 2000.
"Pepsi continues to be an important part of my career, having sponsored me at the local tracks where I got my start, and now in this new and exciting venture," Gordon said. "Ray, Brooke and I hope that we can continue the long-standing history and successes with our team that Pepsi and Fritos have had in their respective businesses."
"You know, I'm only the driver for this team, I'm not the car owner, so I've got bosses to answer to. We're really looking forward to getting this team off the ground and looking forward to great success in the Busch Series."
"I feel that this team will give us an opporunity to be more than NASCAR team owners," Brooke Gordon said. "It gives us an opportunity to expand our already great relationship with Pepsi-Cola Company and Frito-Lay that we've have gained through Jeff's racing career. We're excited about it, and we're really looking forward to getting it all started."
The venture will be Evernham's first into the area of car ownership in NASCAR, something he's hinted at having an interest in recently.
"It's an honor for me to be involved in something like this," said Evernham, the mechanical brains behind Gordon's success at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series level. "When you've worked as many years as we have and have been given the opportunities that we have, and you see something like this come together and it has your name on it, it makes you very humble.
"That's the main reason for this. We want to try and give back some of the opportunities we've been given. We want to build this team to help add to the excitement and the growing of NASCAR. We want to show our appreciation to help NASCAR continue to grow. It's easily the most exciting spectator sport in the world as far as I'm concerned."
Gordon's last NASCAR Busch Series race was in 1992, when he won three races and finished fourth in the series standings. In 1991, he finished 11th in the standings and won Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors.
His first start in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series came in November of 1992, Richard Petty's final NASCAR Winston Cup start, and he won Rookie of the Year honors in that series in 1993. Since then, he has won two NASCAR Winston Cup Series titles, and is working on a third this season.
Evernham said Gordon's "Rainbow Warriors" will be the pit crew for Gordon's races next season, and that he himself will be in the pits calling the shots for the team. For the races with Ricky Hendrick, Evernham said they're working on putting a separate pit crew together, and expect to announce a crew chief at the end of this season.
Michael Landis, a former employee of Hendrick Motorsports and team member of Gordon's "Rainbow Warriors," will be the team manager at Gordon-Evernham Motorsports.
Frito-Lay, the worldwide snack division of PepsiCo, will be an associate sponsor on the No. 24 Chevrolet with its Fritos Brand, as well as Hasbro toy company's Winner's Circle brand.
Source: NASCAR Online