Chat with NASCAR Now's Ray Evernham
Known for years as one of the best crew chiefs in the business, helping Jeff Gordon gain his championship foothold, Evernham has gone on to success as a car owner, including Kasey Kahne's current ride, and on air with ESPN.
A true NASCAR insider with connections throughout the racing world, Evernham is the perfect guy to talk about the first two weeks of the season and everything else going on in NASCAR.
Send in your questions below and stop by at 1:30 p.m. ET on Monday!
Buzzmaster (1:31 PM)
We've got Ray!
Chuck Bayliss -Indiana
Do you think Nascar will ever allow Drivers to race in the rain so the fans get to see the race that day?
Ray Evernham (1:32 PM)
I think you've already seen that last year in the Nationwide race in Montreal. More then likely you'll continue to see that in road events. But I don't think you'll see that on the oval. And it wouldn't be a good show on the oval.
Todd (Hutchinson, KS)
As a Roush fan, I'm loving the fact that Matt Kenseth is having so much success. I think it will eventually spread down to the other team members. My question to you is, who is the next member to win a race? Carl? David? Greg?
Ray Evernham (1:33 PM)
Oh boy, that's hard to say. Right now, I feel like the Roush equipment is so strong. It could be any of those guys. Biffle has been in position. Carl will win, it's only a matter of time. Any of them will win, it's all about how their race strategies play out.
Pete C Newark DE
After watching the action over the last to weeks, I'm assuming the Stewart and Newman are using basically the same set up. Yet Stewart has looked alot better then Newman. Why is that?
Ray Evernham (1:34 PM)
Circumstances. Daytona, Ryan wrecked two cars. THat put him behind. In California, it's very difficult for two drivers to drive the same set up. Ryan's car looked strong at times, and he may not be clicking as quickly with his new chief and team as Tony is.
Hi Ray....if only we could go back in time.....Jeff+Ray=7/8/9 championships? Would there have been anything Rick could have done to get you to stay? Also, what are the chances you will work with the 24 this year in ANY capacity? Thanks
Ray Evernham (1:36 PM)
Oh boy..if we could go back in time, it would help because I would have more hair and would have known what to invest in the stock market. Would we have won more championships? I believe so. But I firmly believe in cycles. Jeff and I had great success in our cycle. There were pros and cons to us breaking apart. I think it made us both stronger. But it would be very difficult to predict if we would have gotten more championships. When they compare Marciano and Ali to other greats, it's a different time. But I appreciated the time we did have together.
Johnny Simmons Hartford Wisconsin
What effect will the currently economy have on NASCAR in regards to corporate sponsorship, automobile industry, fan participation, and racing strategy?
Ray Evernham (1:38 PM)
I think it is going to split the haves and have nots further and further apart. The bigger teams will be ahead of others. I also believe it will create new opportunities for the new teams that have cropped up. We just have to make sure that the gap between the haves and have nots doesn't get too big that it's like F-1. But I think the economic reset will have some good things, like the ticket prices might come down. Hopefully we can keep the gas prices down below $2 a gallon. It might even end up being better for the fans.
What can Jeff Gordon do to return to the winner circle?
Ray Evernham (1:39 PM)
He's doing it. I think he and his crew chief has his stuff together. They were in the mix to winning yesterday. They have to keep doing what they're doing. They're paying attention to detail and putting themselves in a position to win.
Justin Kansas City
With Jeff Gordon's strong performance yesterday do you think he is back?
Ray Evernham (1:40 PM)
I don't know if he's back, because I don't think he ever left. He didn't win a race last year, but a lot of teams go through that. If you look back through history, teams go through spots like that. Yesterday, I believe coming out behind Matt Kenseth on pit road didn't give him the clean air he wanted. Jeff's car got a little tighter toward the end of the race.
Jake (VA Beach)
Why was Gordon running such a higher line than Kenseth (and all others) yesterday? That seemed to be why he couldn't pass, and ending up in 2nd
Ray Evernham (1:41 PM)
I think two things. I don't know if he was on a higher line, he was on the apron a couple of times. He was trying to run a line that the 17 car wasn't. At some of the places, you can get more momentum at the top. He was just trying to find a line that the 17 wasn't on.
Jason( Memphis, Tn)
Do you see Jimmie Johnson having the same year he has had the last three years. And is JEff Gordon ready for his fifth championship.
Ray Evernham (1:43 PM)
If you remember, he didn't start out so strong last year. He can easily maintain his success. I don't think that will be the issue. In the end, it will come down to the Chase. Who will step up? You used to have a better chance of predicted who would win the Cup, because it was over 36 races. But now, it's over the Chase and those 10 races.
Mike K. Mohnton, PA
Do you think Dale Jr. and down home personality is a good fit for the Hendrick racing Team? Its starting to seem like a square peg in a round hole.
Ray Evernham (1:44 PM)
I don't know. I'm not really on the inside, personality wise. I know Rick well and I know he wants to make it work. I know Junior went over there because he wanted to make it work, regardless of personality. I don't think it's that that's not making it work right now. I think you'll see them continue to progress. Junior hasn't driven for anyone but his father and his family. This year hasn't been too bad. He wrecked at Daytona and yesterday he wasn't running bad. He wasn't great either. I think they'll continue to progress in their surroundings.
When an accident sent Kevin Harvick into the wall, it ended his streak of 81 consecutive races completed, the longest in Cup history. What are your thoughts on that?
Ray Evernham (1:46 PM)
A) Was Kevin all right, because it was a hard hit? But all streaks come to an end. Right now Clint Bowyer has the longest streak with 50-something races. It just goes to show you that team has some great engines and some great cars.
Do you think the racing would be better and the tires would last longer if they would get off the bump stops and used mechanical grip instead of aero?
Ray Evernham (1:47 PM)
I think that would certainly help the tires, if they did that. But what they're looking to do is to change the size rule. This car has a lot more right side weight. It's actually a taller car and overloads the right side tires. The disparity between the left and right side weight is much different then the old car. It's very hard for Goodyear to make a tire for that with the size contraints on it. They are working on a better tire, which will help a lot.
Chad (Las Vegas)
Do you see any effects from NASCAR's new rule about testing?
Ray Evernham (1:48 PM)
I think it's still too early in the season to see that. Other then the teams being well rested and better prepared with their equipment. I don't think there's been a change in the racing. It's saved everyone money, no doubt. It's helped some of the smaller teams be prepared.
Ray Evernham (1:49 PM)
Thanks. Great questions again. I certainly appreciate you guys participating and checking us out here on ESPN.