|Owner(s)|| Ray Evernham|
|Base||Statesville, North Carolina|
|Series||Sprint Cup Series|
|Drivers||#9 - Kasey Kahne|
#10 - Patrick Carpentier
#19 - Elliott Sadler
|Sponsors||#9 - Budweiser|
#10 - U.S. Air Force
#19 - Best Buy
Gillett Evernham Motorsports (formerly Everham Motosports) was a NASCAR team owned by Ray Evernham and George Gillett that last fielded the #9 Budweiser, #10 U.S. Air Force & #19 Best Buy Dodge Chargers. The team was founded by Ray Evernham in 2000. Evernham had previous experience as a car owner in the Busch Series owning Jeff Gordon's car with Gordon's wife. In 2007, George Gillett, Jr., owner of the Montreal Canadiens, bought a share in the team. Evernham Motorsports was renamed Gillett Evernham Motorsports.
Car #9 HistoryEdit
The #9 car goes back to 1995. It premiered at the 1995 Daytona 500 as the #94 Ford with McDonald's sponsoring. The car was owned and driven by Bill Elliott. Elliott's first year as an owner/driver was marked with eleven top-tens, two poles, and an eighth place finish in the points. After a horrific crash in 1996 at Talladega Superspeedway, Elliott missed several races to recover from his injuries and was replaced by Dorsey Schroeder, Todd Bodine, Tommy Kendall, and Bobby Hillin Jr.. Returning full time in 1997, Elliott had fourteen top tens and another eighth place finish in points. His team also expanded to a multi-car operation they year when Ron Barfield drove the #92 New Holland Ford to a twenty-second place finish at the Brickyard 400. Elliott's operation went multi-car full time in 1998, teaming up with Dan Marino to field the #13 FirstPlus Financial Ford. Rookie Jerry Nadeau raced the car for the first half of the year, before he was released and replaced by multiple drivers. Elliott also fielded the #89 car driven by Dennis Setzer for one race. The year was marked with sadness when Elliott had to miss the fall Dover race to attend the funeral of his father. In his place was Matt Kenseth who finished sixth in his debut cup race.
After a disappointing 1999 season which saw his multi-car operation dissolve back into #94, Elliott announced in early 2000 he was selling his equipment to championship-winning crew chief Ray Evernham to become part of Dodge's return to NASCAR. The team would also switch to #9. Elliott marked the season with his first win in seven years at Homestead-Miami Speedway. 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. During August 2007, there has been rumors that Evernham Motorsports will sign with Budweiser to be a primary sponsor in 2008, but nothing has been officaily announced yet.
Car #10 HistoryEdit
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.
Car #19 HistoryEdit
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, Mayfield was replaced by Ray Evernham with Bill Elliott for the race at Watkins Glen, citing a lack of performace throught the 2006 season. Meawhile Evernham talked with Elliott Sadler about taking over in 2007. On Augugst 16,2006 Evernham announced that Sadler would take the seat at Michigan. As soon as Robert Yates Racing heard this yates decicded to release Sadler. Sadler finished the rest of the 2006 season. He will stay for the 2007 season but that beyond is questionable.
Evernham Motorsports has two teams in the NASCAR Busch Series, the #9 and the #98 (formerly #79). Kahne and Mayfield have had the majority of seat time so far, but other drivers such as Paul Wolfe, Mike Wallace, Tracy Hines, Erin Crocker, and Casey Atwood have also had seat time in 2005. In September of 2005, Evernham made several announcements concerning the future of his Busch teams. The first announcement was that the #6 Hungry Drivers Dodge Charger was changing its number to #9, which was previously used by Mark Martin in the Busch Series. Along with the number change, the #9 will also expand its sponsorship agreement with Unilever Foods. Now called Ultimate Chargers, it will feature Kasey Kahne, Jeremy Mayfield and Scott Riggs as the drivers during the companion races and development drivers during the stand alone races. Erin Crocker, who will compete in the #98, and Boris Said will also share driving duties in the car. Crocker, who was originally announced to be driving in the Busch series full-time in 2006, will drive with sponsorship from General Mills and Betty Crocker. Said, who was signed to help develop the teams road course program, will race at Mexico and will race in other select events in the Busch series.
Craftsman Truck SeriesEdit
In 2006, Evernham Motorsports will be making its first foray in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series. With purchased equipment and owner points from Ultra Motorsports' #2 team, Evernham will field the #98 Dodge Ram for Erin Crocker. With sponsorship from Betty Crocker/General Mills, Crocker will run the full season in the Truck Series and will compete for Rookie of the Year.
Evernham Motorsports has three drivers in its Driver Development program, Erin Crocker, A. J. Foyt IV, and Kevin Swindell. In 2005, 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 will be competing full-time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2006, as well as run selected Busch & ARCA races. 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 is currently in the #14 Car for FitzBradshaw racing, but failed to qualify for his first race with the team. Kevin Swindell, who won his first World of Outlaws race in May 2006, competed in the ARCA series in the #4 Dodge. 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.
As of 2006, Evernham Motorsports currently leases engines to Petty Enterprises, both the #45 and #43 teams, in the Cup series and to Curb Agajanian Performance Group, FitzBradshaw Racing, and other teams in the Busch 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 has a partnership with Penske Racing where they share engine and technical support at the restrictor plate tracks, Daytona and Talladega. During 2001, Evernham signed a partnership with Ultra Motorsports, thereby allowing Casey Atwood to drive the #7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge and providing engines & techincal support for the #7 team. However, after a number of disappointing results, the partnership dissolved a couple of races before the end of the 2002 season. 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.