Evernham will join ESPN’s team at Daytona Speedweeks and will be part of NASCAR Countdown before the NASCAR Nationwide Series race that airs on ESPN on Saturday, Feb. 25, at noon ET. He also will appear on NASCAR Now and SportsCenter from Daytona as ESPN’s multimedia platforms surround the opening of the NASCAR season.
Evernham, who won three championships and 47 races as crew chief for Jeff Gordon at Hendrick Motorsports, will be an analyst on NASCAR Countdown for many of the 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races that will appear on ESPN networks in the second half of the season. In addition to his work on NASCAR Now and SportsCenter, he will help call several NASCAR Nationwide Series races from the booth.
Evernham was an analyst for ESPN from 2008-2010 but left prior to the 2011 season when he took a consulting position with Hendrick Companies, a management company that oversees strategic initiatives for chairman Rick Hendrick, who also owns Hendrick Motorsports.
"I chose to take a year off from ESPN out of respect for ESPN and Hendrick Motorsports,” said Evernham. “I didn't want to create any perceived conflict of interest while I got my bearings at Hendrick and didn't want to cause distraction to either company.
"Now that I'm settled at Hendrick Performance, I don't have any involvement on the racing side of the operations and it frees me from any conflict with NASCAR teams,” he said. “Mr. Hendrick and I have worked out an agreement that allows me to return to the ESPN team.”
Evernham has a history with ESPN dating back to 2000, when he appeared as an analyst on ESPN and ABC’s coverage of the IROC Series and some NASCAR races. In 2007, he was a guest analyst on NASCAR Countdown for several NASCAR Nationwide Series telecasts and was featured in Race Wizard with Ray Evernham, a program that aired on ESPN2.
With the return of Evernham, ESPN will again have five former NASCAR champions as analysts, including 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup driving champion Rusty Wallace, 1999 champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chiefs Tim Brewer and Andy Petree.
- ESPN Media Zone Press Release