Ray Evernham: Team Management Guru

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According to many within the industry, Ray Evernham has done more to change the competitive landscape of NASCAR than any other individual in the sport.


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While he is known as a highly successful team manager and race engineer, Evernham started out as a modified racer in the Northeast. After a severe accident, which permanently impaired his depth perception, Ray moved from the drivers seat to become a chassis specialist for the IROC Series.

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In this role, Evernham had the opportunity to work with a variety of the world's best drivers from many of the top professional series. He quickly gained a reputation as a masterful race engineer who could not only consistently set up a car to win, but also build and maintain strong communications between drivers and their teams.

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After a brief stint working for NASCAR driver/owner Alan Kulwicki, he went on to team with Jeff Gordon who had just become a Ford driver with Bill Davis Racing. 

The two had worked together previously for a brief period when Gordon was driving for Pontiac. Ford Motor Company executives signed Gordon and he pushed to reconnect with Evernham.

When Gordon moved to Winston Cup with Hendrick Motorsports, Ray joined him. They remained together in Cup from 1992 to 1999 winning 3 championships and 47 races.

During their time together they dominated the field, and their team is credited with setting new standards for team management and performance. 

Evernham took stock car engineering to higher levels, pushing Hendrick's technology development capabilities beyond any team in recent history. 

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In addition to his technological genius, he is also just as skilled in managing a race business and team.  He extracted efficiencies and maximized the effectiveness of his people like nobody else. 

For instance, Ray was the first to establish a permanent pit stop team who trained and worked together on the daily basis throughout the season. While building a cohesive pit stop team is now common practice, at the time of his implementation, their team won many races due to pit stop and race strategy.

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Although he moved on from the Hendrick to revive the Dodge/Chrysler NASCAR program, Hendrick Motorsports current success can be attributed to the strong foundation that Ray helped create. Ray Evernham changed how the NASCAR game is played. 

Many of today's current rules have been rewritten due to the team and technology management techniques that Evernham redefined. 

Today he is a television broadcast commentator and the owner of East Lincoln Speedway, a three-eigths mile dirt track near Charlotte, North Carolina. When you see him on TV analyzing a race, just know that you're listening to one of the most knowledgeable and successful racers in the sport.

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