Trophies and Scars: Ray Evernham
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Trophies and Scars is the profoundly personal, sincere, and remarkably revealing story of the life and times of NASCAR Hall of Famer Ray Evernham. A son of the Jersey Shore, Evernham dedicated his life to fulfilling his boyhood dream of becoming a professional race car driver.
By age eighteen, he was banging fenders with good success on the Northeast short track circuit. When his dreams of becoming an Indy car sensation literally crashed and burned, he turned to Roger Penske’s International Race of Champions (IROC), before another brutal crash forced him to give up his Indy dream for good.
It was time to change careers.
As a leader of a race team on the technical rather than the driving side, he discovered new skills critical to building successful racing organizations. A brief, ill-fated, and downright volatile stint on Alan Kulwicki’s crew, turned into a “right place at the right time” scenario, sparking a seminal partnership with racing phenom Jeff Gordon. They would prove to be one of the most potent racing duos in history.
Evernham shares previously untold tales of how the duo led the No. 24 team to three championships in four seasons (1995, 1997, 1998) and a series-leading forty-seven wins, revealing in candid detail how and why their storied relationship came to an end.
The book also details Evernham’s time spearheading the return of Dodge to NASCAR, building Evernham Motorsports into one of the most successful NASCAR teams, as well as his transformation into a TV personality with roles as a NASCAR analyst for SPEED, ESPN, ABC, FOX, and NBC and as host to his own TV series, AmeriCarna, on the Velocity channel.
Woven throughout all these stories recounting the many twists and turns of his life, he reveals how he buried himself in work to cope with his personal challenges, such as his son Ray J.’s battle with leukemia and later autism diagnosis. Many of these painful challenges ultimately brought rich rewards, such as the formation of the Evernham Family Racing for a Reason Foundation, funding for IGNITE, education and training programs for young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome, his loving marriage to Erin, and the birth of their daughter Cate.
You needn’t be a racing fan to appreciate Evernham’s inspiring journey of tireless persistence, radical determination, steadfast leadership, and fearless reinvention. For as he believes, a life lived to the fullest is packed with trophies—and scars.