Humanity in general has, throughout its long history, had a love for competition. The desire to win is hard-wired in our genes and the attraction to speed… well, that just reflects our love of excitement and good old-fashioned fun! The invention of the automobile provided the perfect opportunity – and vehicle, literally – for people to challenge one another on early racetracks and road courses as they had previously done before with horses. Auto racing was also seen by perceptive car manufacturers as a great way to advertise – provided their cars were winners, of course. The saying “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” exemplifies the business of auto racing and the ever-expanding industry of racing, promotion and parts marketing that has grown up around it.
The auto racing industry has progressed quite a ways from its earliest days. Formula One racing, for example, has become a multi-million dollar sport with high-tech cars, generously paid drivers and big business sponsorships. NASCAR racing proves that “the business of America is business”, both on and off the track. The names of NASCAR events and entire series like the Nextel Cup indicate the need for big-time sponsorship and the copious flow of funding it provides the organizers, teams and drivers. Try to think of a racing car that doesn’t have logos and advertisements on it – bet you can’t, unless it’s a vintage race car.
Auto racing has truly become a big business. Besides sponsorships, revenue comes in from ticket sales and merchandising. This industry seems likely to continue its phenomenal rate of growth as people will never lose their love of thrills, spills and racing excitement!
Check in with Autoracing.com regularly to keep up to date on the latest auto racing industry developments.
Evernham Motorsports became Gillett Evernham Motorsports in 2007. It then merged with Petty Enterprises to form Richard Petty Motorsports.
The Evernham Motorsports team was founded in 1999 by Ray Evernham. Evernham’s mission was to help bring Dodge back into the limelight of NASCAR racing – a goal which he has certainly achieved through excellent management, good cars and skilled driving. Today Evernham Motorsports is recognized as being one of NASCAR’s premier racing teams and it currently fields full-time Dodge motor vehicles in the NEXTEL Cup, the Craftsman Truck Series and the Busch Series. It also fields a part-time Dodge Charger in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
Evernham, himself a driver, started to enjoy great racing success shortly after partnering with Jeff Gordon. Under Evernham’s leadership, the two were able to win 47 Winston Cup races and three Winston Cup championships. Not long afterwards, Dodge approached Evernham with a massive challenge – help Dodge return to NASCAR Winston Cup racing in just 500 days. Prior to this, Dodge had not been involved in the Winston Cup for roughly twenty years. It was a challenge that Evernham was ready to accept. Working with the same determination and passion that had characterized much of his racing career, Evernham met the challenge with success. What’s more, he has continued to oversee the operation of his various race teams up to the present.
Evernham Motorsports accredits much of its success to the high level of innovation and technology which it supports. The team currently produces it’s own chassis and its engines are both powerful and reliable – so much so, in fact, that other Dodge teams often make use of Evernham Engines in their own vehicles. Evernham Motorsports’ most recent successes include the 2006 NEXTEL Cup Season wherein the team won six races in their number 9 car with Kasey Kahne behind the wheel. They also enjoyed 13 top-five and 29 top-ten finishes as well as two wins in the Busch Series that same year. Current drivers include Kasey Kahne, Elliot Sadler, Scott Riggs and female driver Erin Crocker. Crocker’s signing with the team is part of their driver development programme which continues to help talented and aspiring drivers achieve greater measures of success. Crocker, who has been driving since she was seven, is the first woman to join the Evernham team. Fans can be sure that as long as Ray Evernham is behind the wheel at Everham Motorsports, they will see many more great Dodge successes in years to come.
Casey Mears was born March 12, 1978 in Bakersfield, California, and was surrounded by racing as he grew up. His father, Roger Mears, was one of the top performers on the off-road racing arena and his uncle, Rick Mears, won the Indianapolis 500 four times during his racing career. Mears began his own racing career at the tender age of four with BMX bicycles, and then he moved to ATVs at his hometown speedway. In 1991 he started racing go-karts and moved to SuperLites Off-Road Series a year later where he made a few top-three finishes.
“Tradition and heritage” have been used to describe Casey Mears, the new driver of No. 42 Dodge Charger in 2006. His family history and his surname transcend any one racing series. His fourth season was completed in 2006, on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup circuit. Over the years with Felix Sabates, at Chip Ganassi Racing, Mears has continued improving, which has given him the needed experience to be able to withstand the pressure that goes with racing the celebrated “Texaco Star” car. Many experienced and talented drivers have driven the “Texaco Star” on the NASCAR circuit like, Kenny Irwin, Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd and Davey Allison.
Mears commented that not only was it a privilege to have Texaco/Havoline sponsor him but having grown up knowing them and the relationship Texaco/Havoline had with Mario and Michael Andretti. The 2004 season revealed Mears to be a strong competitor, earning him his first Top-5 finish at the Watkins Glen International. He also followed his Uncle’s footsteps by winning the pole position at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in track-record time. During 2005 Mears NEXTEL Cup season was up and down. He had two races in Homestead and Texas, which were potential winners but with late-race cautions he was prevented from doing so. Altogether it wasn’t a complete write-off as he was able to finish the season with 3 Top-5 finishes and 9 Top-10s.
By the end of 2009, Casey Mears had notched up 252 consecutive race starts, one win, 12 Top Five positions, and 46 Top Tens. The year started off with the announcement the Mears would be driving the #90 Key Motorsports Chevrolet in 2010, but he broke his consecutive race starts record by failing to qualify for the 2010 Daytona 500 and later failing to qualify for Las Vegas, Fontana and Atlanta. Time will tell whether Casey Mears will regain his form and add more successes to his NASCAR racing history.
On December 23, 1969, Gregory Jack Biffle was born in Vancouver, Washington. He now resides in Mooresville, North Carolina and is a NASCAR Nextel Cup driver. Greg Biffle was first noticed nationally in 1995/1996 when he took part in the NASCAR Winter Heat series on ESPN2. It was Benny Parsons, a former NASCAR champion and now an ESPN announcer, who encouraged Jack Roush to hire Biffle due to his race performance, noting that if he didn’t, he was likely to regret it as he watched Biffle win title after title.
Biffle won his first Rookie of the Year in 1998 at the Craftsman Truck Series under Roush Racing. Two years later he won his first championship, the series title, which is part of NASCAR’s three major series. Greg Biffle joined the Busch Series in 2001 and won the series rookie of the year award after winning five times and finishing overall fourth in points. The following year Biffle gave Roush another championship in the Busch Series.
In 2003, after racing only part-time previously, Biffle began competing full time in NASCAR’s top circuit where he finished 20th in the final NEXTEL Cup series points. Biffle continued to improve throughout 2004 season. Greg in 2005 finished the racing season tied second with Carl Edwards for the NASCAR Nextel Cup championship. With six race wins behind him he was given second position over Carl.
In 2006, Greg Biffle struggled a lot after his two wins at Homestead-Miami and Darlington Raceway. He finished 33rd at the Brickyard, 24th at Pocono Raceway and 38th at the Watkins Glen International putting him lower on the series points. During the years 2004 to 2006 the Army National Guard became his primary sponsor with other sponsors being Jackson Hewitt Tax Services, Post-it/3M, Subway, Prism Guard Shield and Charter Communications.
Having won just once in the 2007 season, Biffle finished 14th in the standings, and in June 2008 signed a three-year contract extension with Roush Fenway Racing. He became the first driver to win the first two Chase for the Sprint Cup races in a season, which he did at New Hampshire and Dover. He qualified for the Chase again in 2009, but failed to record a win, for the first time since 2002. He did, however, achieve 10 top-fives and 16 top-tens. His career achievements by the end of 2009 included 14 wins, 59 top-fives, and 99 top-tens.
Apart from racing, Greg Biffle has a foundation that he and his wife Nicole manage together. The foundation’s goal is to create awareness for the need to improve provisions for the well-being of animals.
On August the 4th, 1971, Jeffery Michael Gordon was born in Vallejo, California, but he was raised in Pittsboro, Indiana, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jeff Gordon is an American race car driver who has claimed the NASCAR Winston Cup four times and is the driver of the #24 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS. Jeff is also co-owner of the #48 Lowe’s sponsored team, driven by the 2006 NEXTEL Cup series champion, Jimmie Johnson.
Jeff Gordon decided from a young age that he wanted to drive and his family fully supported him and his endeavors. They even went to the point of moving to Pittsboro, Indiana, where provisions are made for young drivers who want to race. Here Gordon was successful, winning three short-track races as well as being awarded with the USAC Midget Car Racing Rookie of the Year before the age of 18 years. Then in 1991,at the age of 20, Jeff was moved up to the USAC Silver Crown category becoming the youngest driver to win it.
Gordon had two excellent years with NASCAR Busch Series in 1991 and 1992 where he captured eleven poles in one season. In 1993, he had a full season in Winston Cup for Hendrick Motorsports, winning the Twin 125 Daytona 500 qualifying race, receiving the Rookie of the Year award and being placed 14th in points. Many critics questioned Gordon’s ability to participate in races of this caliber at such a young age, but in 1994, the critics were silenced when won the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the Coca Cola 600, one of the most gruelling and demanding races. At the age of 24 he won one of his four NASCAR Winston Cup Championships. There are only two other drivers with more than four Cup titles. He was also the only NASCAR driver to have four Brickyard 400 victories at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and one of five drivers to have four wins at the historic track.
NASCAR regards Jeff Gordon as one of its best drivers, especially with all that he has achieved at such a young age. At the age of thirty-five Gordon has collected 75 Nextel Cup victories, which is just one less of Dale Earnhardt Jnr‘s 76 wins and is ranked seventh on the all-time list.