2007 Team Preview: Evernham

2007 Team Preview: Evernham

2007 Team Preview: Evernham

Pete Pistone
Managing Editor

Ray Evernham shook up his NEXTEL Cup operation during last season when he replaced Jeremy Mayfield with Elliott Sadler.

So there weren't any major changes for Evernham to make during the off season and his team will enter the 2007 campaign with Sadler flanked by returning teammates Kasey Kahne and Scott Riggs.

Evernham is hoping the investments and plans he's made to his team will pay dividends in 2007.

"At Evernham Motorsports, we are starting to see the investments that we made in people, engineering and technology pay off," he said. "We made a significant investment in that technology. Every year the technology budget doesn’t just grow by hundreds of thousands, some times it goes up by millions. Right now Evernham Motorsports has 330 people with more than 50 people dedicated to engineering and design.”

Kahne comes off a 2006 season that saw him post a series-leading six victories. The Dodge Dealers No. 9 driver is looking to bring a bit more consistency into the new season to go along with those victories.

"I think we can build on what we did last year and challenge for a title this season," Kahne said. "We certainly have the right people in place and everyone here is dedicated to bringing home a championship."

Sadler started to come around toward the end of last season after joining Evernham from Robert Yates Racing. The Virginia driver is impressed with his new surroundings and optimistic for success this season.

"The biggest difference I saw when I walked into Evernham Motorsports was these guys were prepared for the future," Sadler said. "These guys are ahead of the learning curve. Not only are they preparing for the races three weeks from now, they're preparing for things happening a couple of years from now."

"I really think I've got a great support group around me. I've got great teammates, Ray just wants to win," Sadler said. "He's got the same attitude I have about it. Second is no good. Losing is no good. If we're not in The Chase we've pretty much had a terrible season. That's the attitude he's had, and that's the attitude I have."

Riggs returns in the Valvoline No. 10 also hoping to build of some impressive runs he turned in a year ago including pole-winning performances.

"This team has so much potential, I'm really pumped up about the new season," Riggs said. "I really believe we can win races and make the 'Chase.'"

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