Rick Hendrick isn't the reigning five-time champion owner because he skimps on talent. And now, he's bringing aboard a huge name ... but not to do the job many would like to see done right.
As initially rumored at Homestead, Hendrick will be bringing on legendary ex-owner/ex-crew chief Ray Evernham to serve as a consultant for Hendrick Companies. Now, while fans of Jeff Gordon may have visions of the glory days returning -- Gordon and Evernham won three titles in four years under Hendrick from 1995 to 1998 -- slow down. Stop, in fact. Take a deep breath, and then read the following sentence:
Ray Evernham will not be involved with the racing side of the business. Again, he will NOT be involved with the racing side. Sorry, Rainbow fans.
Per a news release, Evernham's company Ray Evernham Enterprises "will consult on special projects related to Hendrick’s core businesses. In that role, REE’s initial focus will be development of the Hendrick Performance retail brand of high-performance parts, vehicles, products and related services."
That doesn't sound like managing the 24 car to us. Still, once you've got him in the door, what's to say you might not have him and Gordon sit down over a cup of coffee to relive some good times? Hey, Rick Hendrick got Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus straightened out and on a championship path with the help of milk and cookies, right?
Evernham will be discussing his new role over the next couple days, and you can bet the Gordon question will be the first one asked. (Sorry, but that's a lot more compelling than talking about "the Hendrick Performance retail brand of high performance parts, vehicles, products and related services.") We'll keep you updated as events warrant.