Our first interview for 2015 is with the one and only Ray Evernham: NASCAR Crew Chief Legend, Race Car Driver, Car Builder, and TV Show Host! I asked him on the show to discuss his foray (and success) into professional motorsports, to gain a little automotive business and racing advice, and to talk about his terrific television show AmeriCarna!
As Ray shared in the interview, he has had a passion for cars since before he can remember. His entry into racing came from his Uncle Nick (who helped him get to the races by skipping church at times), and it put him in a position for a life long obsession with cars in general. Like a lot of other successful people have shared with me, his entry into racing initially came simply be being a volunteer. When be began driving race cars he genuinely loved it, but his best success came in building race cars for others.
His first paycheck for doing so came when Roger Penske created an IROC shop near Ray’s home in New Jersey. His work in IROC led to NASCAR relationships, eventually putting both he and Jeff Gordon together, followed by the two of them going to Hendrick Motorsports – also together. The rest they say, is history!
Today Ray and Rick Hendrick are partners in their TV show Americarna which airs on the Velocity network. In that show the focus on how cars are a huge part of American culture overall and each episode shares a unique story of a historic car and the people behind them. More times than not the car is restored to it’s former glory and reunited with loved ones (which is always good)!
When it comes to success in racing and business success, Ray’s best advice is to be committed to what you’re after. Nothing will come fast or easy, and being hard work and preparation are required to be able to jump on the opportunities that come.
Thanks for the interview and inspiration, Ray!
This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!