Monday, January 19, 2009
Evernham Gets His Name Out Of The Mix
Ray Evernham continues to pave his way toward a full-time TV career in the sport. The change that will do him the most good has finally happened.
As ESPN's David Newton (click here) reports, Gillett Evernham Motorsports has changed the name of the entire organization to Richard Petty Motorsports. Evernham recently did several interviews where he made clear that he has not been involved in the day-to-day operations of GEM for some time now.
The biggest controvery surrounded his silence over the firing and then rehiring of driver Elliott Sadler. The situation was that Evernham remained a part owner of the team that still bore his name, making him a target for questions surrounding the activity of the group.
Now, the Evernham name will be removed and Richard Petty will be the "branding tool" that is used to move the company forward in the sport. This is a good role for Petty, as a team ambassador but without the same management responsibilities that put Petty Enterprises in the original situation from which they could not emerge.
Evernham is slated to appear all season on ESPN in a wide variety of roles. He will handle race analysis in the booth on select races, appear in the Infield Pit Studio as a panelist and appear as an expert on shows from NASCAR Now to SportsCenter.
This move allows Evernham to fly under the radar for this season and maintain his "outsider" status that has come to be his trademark when questions are asked about GEM. Now, expect the words Richard Petty Motorsports to be said on a regular basis by Evernham with a big smile on his face.
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