Day one of the 23rd Annual NASCAR Nextel Cup Media
Tour presented by Lowe’s Motor Speedway concluded on Monday with a
visit to Evernham Motorsports’ sprawling race complex located in
2005 was a disappointing year for the team, despite putting both of
his Cup teams in victory lane and driver Jeremy Mayfield making the
10-race Chase. For The Nextel Cup for the second year in row, team
owner Ray Evernham expected more, and plans to do more, beginning
with sweeping changes in both his Nextel Cup and Busch Series
“When goals aren’t met, the leader must look at his or her
program and decide if in its current state it can achieve the goals
that have been set, and if not then changes must be made,” said Evernham.
“With most teams, it’s the lack of resources or not using the resources
properly, either you have to make changes – changes
have to happen if you are going to achieve maximum potential.”
To that end, Evernham has shifted several key teams members to
different teams in hopes they can better share the knowledge and
thought-processes throughout the organization, essentially moving
the team of the no. 19 Dodge of Jeremy Mayfield over to the no. 9
Dodge of Kasey Kahne, eliminating the crew chief positions and
instead adding a team director for each team.
The team director will head a three-person leadership structure
consisting of a team director, car director and team engineer. All
three will provide input into the construction and engineering of
the teams cars.
“I could stand up here all night and tell you for hours what a great
plan it is, and my critics can sit here and say why it isn’t going
to work,” said Evernham. “Is it better? I guess we're going to have
to wait and see. I only know if wasn’t good enough the way it was,
it was not good enough to win races and championships, and I’m going
to do everything I can to make it better and successful in the
The former no. 91 team will move over to support Mayfield’s no. 19
Dodge, while the former no. 9 team will shift to Evernham’s new
third team, the no. 10 Valvoline Dodge driven by Scott Riggs. The
new team is part of a partnership with Valvoline known as Valvoline
Evernham Racing, with Valvoline owning a stake in the team as well
as a primary sponsorship role.
After making the Chase in eighth place, Mayfield and his team only
cracked the top-10 three times over the final 10 races, and was well
on their way to finishing tenth in the points had Kurt Busch’s
suspension over the final two races not elevated them to ninth in
the final standings.
“Our bad year was still ninth in the points and we get criticized
for that,” said Mayfield. “We had a pretty decent year to be a bad
year. Ray handled it well, yet he knew we needed to make changes.
Ray has always been consistent on his word – we’re going to win
the championship, we’re going to win races, we’re going to get it right.
“I’m telling you, that’s what’s going to happen. He’s not going to
stop. We believe in him and we’re going to back him. We know we can
get the job done if we get all the pieces to the puzzle in place.”
Evernham Motorsports will continue to partner with Akins Motorsports in
2006, supplying engines and technical support for Anthony Foyt IV
and the no. 38 Great Clips Dodge.
Evernham will also field a Craftsman Truck Series team and a part
time Busch Series team for development driver Erin Crocker as well
as a part-time Busch Series effort with Mayfield, Riggs and Kahne
sharing seat time.
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