During the era of early 1990’s, NASCAR was in its boom. It was the time when prominent NASCAR personalities like Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon & Richard Petty used to reign in the terrains. So, at these times around, there used to be a saying, “They are winning, because they are cheating”. Or if you can’t cheat you can’t win. Here, the term ‘cheating’ wasn’t referring to using any kind of illicit measures, rather it was more like studying radio communication to manipulate others during a race or like cleverly using the rulebook’s loopholes to the team’s advantage.

Shedding light on one of these incidents was Ray Evernham, former crew chief of Jeff Gordon. Evernham, during a candid conversation with Kelly Crandall in the recent episode of The Racing Writer’s Podcast, shed light on this.

Ray Evernham could have been a good lawyer


Article continues below this ad

Having a thoughtful conversation with Kelly Crandall, Evernham reminisced about the thrill of navigating the gray areas of regulations. “If not a crew chief, I probably would have been a good lawyer,” stated Evernham in a humorous manner.

He divulged into the intricate tactics teams undertook to exploit loopholes in the NASCAR rulebook. “The first thing we would do is look for an advantage, right? So everybody’s going to get to the edge of the envelope. But if we could get that faster, we’d have the advantage sooner and there were a lot of gaps as things were developing”.

Evernham shared an anecdote of pushing boundaries- introducing aluminum driveshafts. Painting a vivid picture of the incident he went on, “I remember getting into an argument one time of saying the drive shaft has to be metal. Okay, so we show up with aluminum drive shaft, they said it can’t be a aluminum, has to be metal. I said, aluminum is a metal. They said No, I said yeah an aluminum is a metal.”

Further reflecting on his rulebook exploits, Evernham admitted with a chuckle, “They got a little bit tired of some of my antics.” He called these interactions integral to the sport’s evolution. “It was all the evolution of the sport,” concluded Evernham.

A Glimpse into Jeff Gordon’s Surprising Briefcase Contents

As per a report from Forbes, a lighthearted moment between Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham was disclosed. Revealed in Evernham’s book, the incident centers on an unexpected discovery during a routine meeting. As both men reached for their briefcases, Evernham’s contained the usual materials like notepads and books and his notes for Charlotte Motor Speedway. However, to his amusement, Gordon’s briefcase held far more unconventional contents.


Article continues below this ad

“In Jeff’s briefcase? He had a Nintendo Game Boy, some gum, a stock car magazine, and peanuts. It was kind of funny,” shared Evernham.

Evernham’s memoir, “Trophies and Scars,” has received noteworthy approval from none other than Jeff Gordon himself. The book provides a breakthrough into Evernham’s personal journey, offering insights into his family life and the challenges he encountered during his tenure at Hendrick Motorsports. Additionally, it conveys the controversies he steered while also shedding light on his pivotal role in reviving Dodge’s presence in NASCAR.


Article continues below this ad

Within the book’s pages, Evernham also recounts his initial encounter with Jeff Gordon, providing readers with a firsthand glimpse into the beginnings of their legendary partnership.

Read More: “Trophies and Scars” – The Story of NASCAR’s Most Influential Personality and Why He Did It All