Gillett Evernham Motorsports

Gillett Evernham Motorsports

Company Name = Gillett Evernham Motorsports

Owner(s) Name = George N. Gillett Jr. (#9, #10)
Ray Evernham (#19)
Racing Series = Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series
Championships = 0
Car Number(s) = #9, #10, #19 (Sprint Cup)
#9 (Nationwide Series)
Driver(s) = Kasey Kahne (#9-Sprint & #9-Nationwide)
Elliott Sadler (#19-Sprint & #9-Nationwide)
Chase Miller (#9-Nationwide)
Kevin Swindell (Development)
Primary Sponsor(s) = Budweiser (#9-Sprint)
Valvoline/LifeLock (#10-Sprint)
Best Buy/Stanley Tools/McDonald's (#19-Sprint)
Unilever (#9-Nationwide)
Shop Location = Statesville, North Carolina
Homepage = [ Gillett Evernham Motorsports]

Gillett Evernham Motorsports (formerly Evernham Motorsports) is a racing team in NASCAR. It is owned by team founder Ray Evernham, a former NASCAR crew chief, and Montreal Canadiens owner and Liverpool F.C. co-owner George Gillett. Evernham had previous experience as a car owner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series co-owning Jeff Gordon's car with Gordon's ex-wife, Brooke Gordon, creating Gordon/Evernham Motorsports.

On August 6, 2007, it was announced that Gillett had purchased a majority share in the team and that the name had been changed. The transaction was similar to the creation of Roush Fenway Racing. []

print Cup

Car #9 History

The #9 debuted in the 2001 Daytona 500 with Dodge's return to NASCAR. Bill Elliott won the pole for the event and finished in fifth place. He marked the season with his first win in seven years at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and had a fifteenth-place finish in points. After three more wins and a ninth-place finish in the points in 2003, Elliott announced that due to the pressures of a full Nextel-Cup schedule, he would step down from his full-time ride and would race the team's research and development car. His replacement was rookie Kasey Kahne, a successful open-wheel racer just starting to gain respect in the Busch Series. Kahne won four pole positions and a thirteenth place finish in points on his way to winning Rookie of the Year honors. He won the spring Richmond race in 2005, but finished a disappointing 23rd in the final point standings.

Near the end of the 2005 season, Evernham initiated a crew swap between his teams, citing performance issues with both cars. [] As a result, Kasey received most of the team that comprised of Mayfield's team from 2005. In 2006, Kahne won six races, including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway in May. He also made his first Chase for the Nextel Cup, finishing 8th in the standings at the end of the season. His six wins were a series high in 2006 and he also tied for the most pole awards with Kurt Busch, winning six. On September 18, 2007 it was announced that Budweiser will sponsor the #9 car beginning in 2008. []

Car #10 History

The #10 car was originally the R&D car for Evernham Motorsports. It debuted as the #91 car in 2002 at the spring Talladega race. Dick Trickle was the driver, but he failed to qualify. The car was inactive for months until the fall race at Rockingham, when Hank Parker Jr. made his Winston Cup debut in the car, qualifying 25th and finishing 33rd. Casey Atwood drove the car at Homestead, finishing 37th. Atwood drove two more races for the car in 2003, before Bill Elliott took it over in 2004 as part of his semi-retirement. Elliott's best finish came at the 2004 Brickyard 400, where he finished 9th.

In 2005, a partnership was formed between Valvoline and Ray Evernham. Under the agreement, they would form Valvoline Evernham Racing, LLC and would field the #10 car under the Evernham Motorsports banner. Primary sponsorship would come from Valvoline, with Stanley Tools and Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper providing additional backing. Later that year, Ray announced that Scott Riggs would pilot the car for the 2006 season. Previously, Valvoline had partnered with MB2 Motorsports to field the #10 car, but with the switch, the owner points did not move with them and were instead transferred to the #14 car. Because of the lack of owner points and thanks to a mechanical error during qualifying, Riggs was not able to make the field for the 2006 Daytona 500. However, Riggs would still finish out the season 20th in the point standings, having finished above many others who ran all of the races. The 2007 season has turned out to be a great struggle for Riggs. He has only logged one top 10 finish during the season, which was at Martinsville in April. He also fell out of the top-35 in owner points, meaning he isn't guaranteed a starting spot in races. On October 3, 2007, it was announced that Riggs would depart from Valvoline Evernham Racing for Haas CNC Racing for the 2008 Sprint Cup Season. Patrick Carpentier was later signed to drive the #10 Dodge Charger during the 2008 Sprint Cup Season. [ [ Carpentier signs with GEM] ] He took over for Riggs beginning with the fall Phoenix race. In 2008 Terry Labonter drove the Valvoline Dodge for one race.

In 2008, Gillett Evernham Motorsports bought out Ashland Oil's share of Valvoline Evernham Racing, which effectively ended the partnership. Valvoline will continue to serve as a primary sponsor for the car in select races. [] LifeLock and Cintas will provide additional backing to the team. Patrick Carpentier was later released from the team, after a disagreement with his crew chief for not qualifying for the AMP Energy 500. Mike Skinner and A. J. Allmendinger will finish out the season for the team.

Car #19 History

The #19 car was Evernham Motorsports' first foray into Cup racing. It debuted at the 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway as the #19 Motorola Ford. Casey Atwood drove the car to a nineteenth-place finish. The abbreviated season was capped off by Atwood's tenth place finish at Homestead that year. Atwood and the team went full time the next year. The year was off to a slugglish start when Atwood failed to qualify at the spring Atlanta race, but picked up steam towards the end of the year, winning the pole at Phoenix International Raceway, and almost winning the Homestead race before relenquishing the lead to teammate Elliott late in the race. Atwood barely missed wrestling the rookie of the year crown away from Kevin Harvick.

At the end of the year though, Jeremy Mayfield became available, and Evernham signed Mayfield to drive the #19 machine while Atwood was moved to Ultra Motorsports, who had just signed a partnership agreement with Evernham. Mayfield struggled in his initial year with Evernham, posting just four top tens and finishing 26th in points. He won a pole at Talladega Superspeedway the next year however, and improved to 19th in points. 2004 was even better, winning at Richmond and barely making the cut for the inaugural Chase For The NEXTEL Cup. He claimed one more win in 2005 and also made the Chase For The NEXTEL Cup once again.

However, after the 2006 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, where an early-race crash dropped the #19 team out of the top-35 in owner points (thus requiring the team to qualify for each race on time), Ray Evernham replaced Mayfield with Bill Elliott for the race at Watkins Glen, citing a lack of performance through the 2006 season. However, in affidavits filed in court Mayfield blamed his lack of performance and subsequent termination from the team on Evernham's heavy involvement with his rookie driver Erin Crocker, and the "close personal relationship" that developed between the two. []

On August 16th, Elliott Sadler was officially named the driver of the #19 car for the remainder of the 2006 season, as well as being named the driver for the 2007 season. He comes to the team after parting with Robert Yates Racing due to philosophical differences. On August 18, 2006 Elliott Sadler in his first day in the #19 car, Qualified 2nd for the Nextel Cup race in Michigan, and finished in 10th place. This was the #19 car's best finish of the 2006 season until Sadler scored a sixth-place finish at New Hampshire several weeks later.

After the conclusion of the 2006 NASCAR season with Sadler at the wheel, the #19 team finished 34th in owner points, guaranteeing it a spot in the first five races of the 2007 season.

In November 2007, Best Buy was announced as the new official sponsor for fifteen races in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Later Stanley Tools and McDonalds were announced as the two other primary sponsors on the #19.

Nationwide Series

Car #9 History

The #9 Ultimate Chargers Busch team started as the #6 Hungry Drivers program for Tommy Baldwin Racing. In 2004, primary sponsor Unilever backed the Hungry Drivers program to allow for young drivers to compete for a fulltime seat in NASCAR. Four drivers were chosen to compete for the seat and the chosen drivers were Scott Lynch, Mark McFarland, Tracy Hines, and Paul Wolfe. Each driver was given three races to prove their talent. After scoring 2 top-20 finishes, including a 12th place effort at New Hampshire, Wolfe was awarded the #6 Busch seat for the 2005 season.

In October 2004, Evernham Motorsports acquired Tommy Baldwin Racing, and with it, the Hungry Drivers program. [] Paul Wolfe started out the 2005 season, but was let go after the first four races due to poor performance. Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield took the brunt of the driving duties of the #6 with Kahne scoring the team's first win at Kansas in October. Other drivers would also share in the driving duties of the car, including Mike Wallace, Tracy Hines, Bill Elliott, Casey Atwood, and also Paul Wolfe for three races. Erin Crocker would also make her Busch Series racing debut with the team at Richmond.

For the 2006 season, a number of changes were made to the team. First, a number switch with Roush Racing gave Evernham the #9 to use for his team while the #6 went with Mark Martin's Busch team. Also, Unilever's sponsorship of the team was expanded. Now called the Ultimate Chargers team, it would feature Kasey Kahne, Jeremy Mayfield, and Scott Riggs as the main drivers of the car throughout the year. Crocker, who competed under the #98 with sponsorship from General Mills, and Boris Said also shared driving duties in the car. Kahne, who drove the majority of races for the team, won twice at Las Vegas in the spring and Fontana in the fall. In 2007, Kahne won the spring race at Charlotte and the fall race at Bristol with sponsorship again from Unilever. Kahne, Elliott Sadler, Scott Riggs, Boris Said, and Chase Miller shared the brunt of the driving duties in the car. Deac McCaskill drove for the team in a single race at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.

In 2008, Unilever, along with additional backing from AutoValue/Bumper-to-Bumper, VitaminWater, and Ingersoll Rand, will continue sponsorship of the team with Kahne, Sadler, Patrick Carpentier, and Chase Miller sharing driving duties in the car.

Car #19 History

In the 2003 season, the team debuted with Jeremy Mayfield driving the #79 Dodge Intrepid, with Mountain Dew sponsoring, at Rockingham. He finished 4th in the only race for the team that year. The team returned for the 2005 season, operating as a 2nd Busch team. Sponsorship for this car came mainly from Trus Joist and Auto Value. Kahne and Mayfield shared the driving duties for the three races the team ran with a best finish of 4th at Richmond in May. Kahne also drove the car to a 12th place finish at New Hampshire and Mayfield had a best finish of 29th at Charlotte. While the team didn't run in 2006, a couple of the chassis from the #79 were run by Erin Crocker in her first couple of races.

In the last race of the 2007 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Patrick Carpentier made his second Busch Series start. The car was the #19 sponsored by Stanley Tools.

Chase Miller will drive the car as a second GEM car in selected NNS races in 2008, with Cellco Partnerships (a joint venture of Verizon and Vodafone) sponsoring the car. This sponsorship is in the Nationwide Series, and is not banned under provisions of the Viceroy Rule imposed by NASCAR in this series.

Craftsman Truck Series

In 2006, Evernham Motorsports made its first foray in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series. With purchased equipment and owner points from Ultra Motorsports' #2 team, Evernham fielded the #98 Dodge Ram for Erin Crocker. With sponsorship from Betty Crocker/General Mills, Crocker ran the full season, but finished 7th in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings and 25th in the overall standings.

On December 1, after General Mills left the team, Evernham Motorsports announced that this team was being closed, with the crew being relocated to other Evernham teams.

Driver Development

Evernham Motorsports began its development program in 2005. In 2005, original driver Erin Crocker ran selected ARCA events and made her Busch Series debut at Richmond International Raceway, finishing 39th after crashing. She also competed in the Truck series for a couple of races. She competed full time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2006, finishing 25th in the final point standings. Following the closure of the truck team, she ran several ARCA races for Evernham before leaving the operation in 2007. [] Kevin Swindell, who won his first World of Outlaws race in May 2006, competed in the ARCA series in the #4 Dodge. For 2007, he will race in the USAC Sprint and Midget series with Kasey Kahne Racing, driving a factory Mopar-powered car in both series.

Tommy Lane, an African-American, was formerly a part of Evernham's Driver Development program. However, after driving in the Late Model Stock Division in 2005, he and Evernham Motorsports parted ways. A. J. Foyt IV, grandson of the legendary A. J. Foyt, won the inaugural IRL Infiniti Pro Series championship in 2002 and raced in his grandfather's team in the IndyCar Series for the next three years. For 2006, he raced the first seven races in the #38 Dodge for Akins Motorsports before being fired. He made another attempt in the FitzBradshaw Racing #14 Dodge, but failed to qualify for the first event. Foyt was eventually released from his contract and raced the 2006 IRL season finale with Andretti Green Racing. []

Team Affiliations

Ultra/Evernham Motorsports

At the end of the 2001 season, Ray Evernham partnered with Jim Smith of Ultra Motorsports to form Ultra/Evernham Motorsports. Under the agreement, they would field the #7 Dodge Intrepid for driver Casey Atwood, who was still signed with Evernham Motorsports at the time. Evernham would provide the team with engines and marketing support, while Ultra Motorsports provided the day-to-day operations of the team, including building of chassis, fabricating the bodies, etc. [] In 2002, Sirius Satellite Radio signed on as primary sponsor of the #7 Dodge. Unfortunately, the team's best finish was 11th at Pocono and because of poor performance, the partnership was dissolved prior the completion of the season. [] Atwood was fired by Jim Smith and replaced by Jason Leffler while Evernham moved Atwood to the #91 for the season ending race. For the following season, Atwood was released from his contract.

Valvoline Evernham Racing

In 2005, Valvoline partnered with Evernham Motorsports to create Valvoline Evernham Racing. [] With the partnership, they would field the #10 Dodge with the team being housed at Evernham Motorsports alonsgide the #9 and #19 Nextel Cup teams. Unlike the previous partnership with Ultra Motorsports, the cars would be built and maintained at Evernham Motorsports. Scott Riggs was signed on as the driver and Valvoline provided primary sponsorship for the majority of the races, with Stanley Tools and Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper providing additional backing. The owner points that were originally the #91's would be transferred to the #10, while the #10's original owner points would stay with MB2 Motorsports. The team debuted at Daytona, but failed to qualify for the Daytona 500. Under the original agreement, both Evernham and Valvoline, the latter represented by designated owner Jim Rocco, owned 50% of the team. In January 2008, the team bought out Valvoline's share of the #10 car which effectively ended the partnership. Ashland Oil will still sponsor the car for select races in 2008, but Valvoline officials have no plans to partner with another team. []

McLaren Mercedes

In 2006, Dieter Zetsche, chairman and CEO of DaimlerChrysler, announced a partnering of the company's NASCAR and Formula 1 programs. Highlighting that the company was the only one at the time that had programs in both racing series, the press meeting had Zetsche, Evernham, and Ron Dennis, head of the F1 McLaren Mercedes team, discuss racing and the various technologies and strategies shared between Evernham Motorsports and McLaren. More specifically, it was stated that both teams shared information relating to testing, general simulation methods, and organizational structure. [] However, with the recent sale of Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management, it's unknown if this partnership continues. McLaren's primary sponsor, Vodafone, however has sponsored the team's NASCAR Nationwide Series car in 2008.

The coming of George Gillett

After months of negotiations that date back to March, it was announced on August 6, 2007 that Ray Evernham and George Gillett, owner of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens and co-owner of the Liverpool F.C. team of the English Premier League, had entered into a partnership where George would become majority owner of Evernham's team. [] The team would be renamed to Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Ray would remain the CEO and a minority owner in the organization, although it is unclear as to how much of the team he still owns. As a result of the partnership, George will handle the business and financial duties of the team, while Evernham will head the competition side of the team.

Other Partnerships

As of 2008, Gillett Evernham Motorsports currently leases engines to and provides technical support for Petty Enterprises and Robby Gordon Motorsports in the Cup series. The team also has a partnership with Fitz Motorsports in the Nationwide Series. Akins Motorsports used to receive technical support, but that deal was terminated once Akins merged with Braun Racing and the team switched to Chevrolets. The team also had a partnership with Penske Racing where they shared engine and technical support at the restrictor plate tracks, Daytona and Talladega. Evernham also supplied engines and support for the #14 Harrah's Dodge, fielded by A. J. Foyt Enterprises, that was driven by Larry Foyt at the time. That team has since dissolved.


External links

* [ Official Website of Gillett Evernham Motorsports]
* [ Stanley Motorsports]
* [ Valvoline Racing]

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