Has anyone noticed things being done a bit differently in the Ray Evernham garage and pit areas on race weekends? None of his race teams have Crew Chiefs, instead they have a team of 3 people for each team handling the duties of the Crew Chief. That means there are three people involved in the decision making process for each team instead of one sole authority. The three people making the decisions are the Team Director (who is in charge of race-day decisions), the Car Director (who has final say on the car's setup) and an Engineer (who analyzes the performance of the car during the race). Each Evernham car has the same team setup. This is very similar to the team concept followed by most F1 teams. I just hope they don't start dictating to the drivers which one of them is allowed to win and who should let the other pass - remember what happened a few years ago when Ferrari ordered Borachello to move over and let Shumaker pass? What an embarrassment to F1 that was.
Since there are more people involved in making the important decisions for each Evernham car this ultimately makes communication between each of Evernham's teams better. Theoretically this is supposed to work but why isn't Mayfield sharing in the recent success that Kahne has been experiencing? Maybe he isn't as a good of a driver as he appeared to be, or he just isn't the proper fit into this type of "team" system. No matter what the answer may be to that question, one thing remains clear - results please the boss, and if you don't perform in NASCAR today you'll be racing for someone else next year. Could Mayfield be on his way to Toyota? My bet would be that he would end up at RYR if they can get a sponsor for the 88 car, before he would be in a Toyota. Although, I could see him driving for Bill Davis for some reason.
With everyone complaining about the product that F1 has been putting out the last few years, I'm scared that NASCAR teams are moving to that type of racing formula. NASCAR has steadily become more and more like F1 in the last decade, I just hope that in continuing to do so they don't lose their roots and sense of competition. Ray Evernham is a smart guy and I don't think he would let that happen to his teams, but deep pocketed Toyota is entering the picture next year and things could forever change. Could it be that Evernham saw the writing on the wall with the entrance of Toyota next year, and started to get ready for them now, instead of trying to play catch-up after next season when Toyota introduces its similar F1 style of team management?
Source of info and inspirataion - Inside Motor Sports by Lars Anderson for Sports Illustrated June 26/06.