Ray Evernham said that rumors of his retirement from NASCAR were greatly exaggerated.
After selling part of his business to the Gillett group (GEM) Evernham, Jeff Gordon’s former crew chief who started his own team full-time with Dodge in 2001, admitted that racing is not fun any longer in an interview during the Sprint NASCAR Media Tour in Concord.
“Honestly, no, I wasn’t having fun,” he said, adding “it wasn’t just because of the (team’s poor) performance. There was a lot going on, over the last few years, that took the fun out of it for me because I love racing. Some of the fun had gone away, but, there’s a lot of great people in the sport and I want to spend time with those people and maybe being away from the negative people will help a little bit.”
Remaining in NASCAR’s top series was a battle he explained “it was a constant fight to keep people, to keep sponsors, to keep relationships in a in a highly competitive world not all things don’t always go well.
Being in the constant limelight, constant media where you can not live a normal life; it wears on you,” he said referring to press coverage of his personal life. “The competition on the track is the easy part,” he said with a smile, but weary look in his eyes.
Evernham said that since it took three people to take over his previous job, he was working too hard to accomplish his goals. For now he’ll remain an “owner” but have the freedom to chose what role he’ll continue with at Gillett Evernham Motorsports.