SOUTHLAKE, Texas – official series release — NASCAR photo —
A pair of famous NASCAR names will partner once again during the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s Brickyard Invitational at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, June 16-19.
NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott will team up with his former team owner Ray Evernham to co-drive a special “Garage 34″ entry in the Indy Legends Charity Pro-Am. Elliott drove for Evernham during his final three full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons (2001-2003) and dominated the 2002 Brickyard 400 at IMS for Evernham en route to his penultimate Cup victory.
“Bill Elliott won NASCAR’s popular driver award more than anyone – 16 times,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “We just felt we had to take a promoter’s option on this one and get these guys in our feature event of the weekend. We’re borrowing an idea from Le Mans’ Garage 56 for special entries to bring Bill and Ray into a field with Indy 500 veterans. Given Bill’s tremendous popularity we think fans will love it.”
The Pro-Am feature is a 40-minute race of American muscle cars on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile grand prix road course on Saturday, June 18. The cars are 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of the “Group 6” SVRA class. In addition to Elliott and Evernham, SVRA officials hope to attract 33 Indianapolis 500 veterans. The Unser cousins, Al Jr., Robby and Johnny were the first entries last week. As in the previous two years, the professionals will be paired with amateur drivers, splitting stints at the wheel at their discretion. In this case Evernham, who earned his numerous accolades as a crew chief, will be the amateur driver.
Elliott, the 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, is one of the most accomplished drivers in American auto racing. He scored 44 race wins at NASCAR’s highest level, including the 1985 and 1987 Daytona 500s. While he was previously well established as a top driver on the NASCAR scene, it was in 1985 when he won the Winston Million for victories in three of the series’ marquee races, the Daytona 500, the Southern 500 and the Winston 500, that he broke through to superstar status. Elliott has been inducted into both the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Elliott’s son Chase is currently a rookie in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports.
Evernham is best known for his work with NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon and the “Rainbow Warriors” of Hendrick Motorsports. Together they formed one of the most dominant teams in NASCAR history, winning 47 Cup races and three championships in 1995, 1997 and 1998. Among those victories were two Brickyard 400s as well as two Daytona 500s. Evernham came into notice among the ranks of big-time auto racing when in 1983 he signed on as a chassis specialist preparing cars for the IROC series. Champion drivers gave him high marks for translating their input.
Evernham formed his own team after parting ways with Gordon and Hendrick in 1999. Among his top drivers was Elliott, who closed his full-time driving career with the team after winning several races. Since moving away from active team management Evernham has maintained a consulting role with Hendrick and served as an analyst for racing television coverage. He currently hosts his own show for the Velocity channel, “AmeriCarna.”