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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Could Evernham consulting for Hendrick lead to more?

Ray Evernham was one of the masterminds behind the first great era at Hendrick Motorsports, when Jeff Gordon won multiple titles. Since then, he’s gone on to become a very rich man through his ventures as owner of Evernham Motorsports, as a broadcaster, and other projects.

As 2011 begins, he has begun a new chapter, stepping down from his TV job and becoming a consultant for Hendrick Companies – yep, that’s the same Hendrick he worked for before. The company Evernham will be consulting for oversees strategic initiatives for Hendrick’s businesses, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this is a way for Hendrick to have an ace crew chief in the hole in case his current crop fails to measure up.

Outside of Jimmie Johnson, the team didn’t live up to expectations in 2010, so it certainly can’t hurt to have someone like Evernham in the fold, ready to switch from his consulting role to a more hands-on role at the Cup level. Even if he doesn’t want to be a crew chief again, there are plenty of management roles he could fill with ease and probably have a positive impact.

It’s possible, of course, that I’m taking Evernham’s move out of context, but Rick Hendrick is a smart guy and I’m pretty sure he’s thinking the same thing I am.

The original Johnson starting new NASCAR team for son
Usually once a legend leaves a sport, you don’t see him again (Brett Favre being the exception of course).

But NASCAR fans might get to see a little more of Junior Johnson soon, as he is working on starting a new team for his 17-year-old son, Robert Johnson III, to run in NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East, as well as several other late model races.

Junior Johnson epitomized NASCAR’s roots, with his bootlegging background and legendary career both as a driver and an extremely successful team owner for decades, so I’m glad to hear we’ll be seeing him involved more in the sport again. Who knows, maybe his genes passed down and his son can end up competing with that other Johnson someday.

Gordon DQed at Dakar
Robby Gordon’s time in the Dakar Rally has come to a swift end. After some mechanical issues cost him about 5 hours, he was disqualified from the rally.

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