Evernham Leaves ESPN for New Endeavor
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on February 4, 2014 | 9:59 P.M. EST
Ray Evernham has left ESPN to serve as a consultant for Hendrick Motorsports. (Photo: Getty Images)
Former crew chief Ray Evernham, who created one of NASCAR’s most dominant teams in the 1990s with Jeff Gordon, will serve as a consultant to Hendrick Motorsports where he will be involved with the competition department.
Evernham made the announcement Tuesday on “SiriusXM Speedway” with hosts Dave Moody and Angie Skinner.
Evernham, who has served as a consultant for Hendrick Companies since 2011, also said that he no longer will be a part of ESPN’s NASCAR broadcasts.
“Now not doing the ESPN thing will allow me to be involved in some of the management and some of the things that they’re doing at (Hendrick) Motorsports,’’ Evernham told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “The best way to avoid a conflict of interest is to choose one or the other. I’m excited about being able to go and being involved in the management team on the motorsports side.’’
Said car owner Rick Hendrick in a statement: "Ray has a unique combination of business, racing competition and media experience. I'm excited about how he can continue to contribute to the organization in a variety of ways. We have a great friendship, and he's a valuable resource on a professional level."
Evernham told “SiriusXM Speedway” that he is not seeking to be a crew chief - something he’s stated often in the past.
He admits he will be on a pit box, though, but in a different capacity.
“I’ll be working with everybody at Hendrick Motorsports,’’ Evernham told the show. “I’ve met with crew chiefs. I think I’ve got a good perspective as they face different challenges.
“I will be going to meetings and be involved in competition things that I’ve not been involved with in the past three years or so.”
Evernham said he plans to attend about 15 races - nearly the same total he worked for ESPN. The network issued a statement Tuesday night about Evernham's departure: "We appreciate the contributions Ray has made to our NASCAR coverage and have enjoyed having him as part of our team. We wish him all the best."
Evernham and Gordon combined to win three championships and 47 races in the 1990s before Evernham left Hendrick Motorsports late in the 1999 season. He shepherded Dodge’s return to NASCAR in 2001 as a car owner. He sold majority interest in his team in 2007 to George Gillett.
Evernham has been involved in numerous projects since. His most recent endeavor is as host of the car culture TV show “AmeriCarna” on Velocity. Hendrick is collaborating with Evernham on the show.