Colorado Springs—–One of America’s greatest motorsport crew chiefs was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame this past January and will now be coming to Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain on June 24 as a driver. Ray Evernham will be driving his very special auto, “The Ghost,” in the 96th running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo.
The decorated Evernham will be part of a colorful field in the Hill Climb’s Pikes Peak Challenge-Exhibition Class that features Hill Climb superstar Rhys Millen behind the wheel of a 2018 Bentley Bentayga, Scott Birdsall with his 1949 Ford F1, “Old Smokey,” Honda Brake design engineer Jordan Guitar, Californian Ross Murray in a 2015 Dodge Viper, and Donald Greenberg with his own 2015 Viper.
The Ghost is a custom-built race car designed to look like a modified that would have been raced in the 1960s but features state-of-the-art mechanics and electronics. It’s named The Ghost due to the pearl white Axalta Coating Systems-provided paint scheme. While it has the appearance of a 1936 Chevrolet sedan, The Ghost has the aero performance of an Indy car and is powered by an 850+ HP Chevrolet SB2 engine.
“I’m truly honored to have been given the opportunity to compete in the 96th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The hill climb at Pikes Peak is an event I have always had tremendous respect for but, to be honest, is never one I envisioned myself competing in. It is one of the premier and most historic racing events held anywhere in the world so to earn a spot in the field is like a dream come true,” Evernham said.
“The Ghost is a culmination of my 40+ years of experience in auto racing. We wanted to design and build the car from the ground up the way we did in the 70s and 80s. No computers, no lasers, just using the knowledge we have accumulated through the years. On the outside, the car looks like the modifieds I grew up watching race at short tracks in New Jersey but, on the inside, it is packed with all of the latest and greatest racing technology you can get. Countless hours have gone into getting both the car and me ready for this event. We can’t wait to get on the mountain to see what it can do.”
Evernham’s amazing career in motorsports is rich in accomplishment.
In the 1992 season finale, a young driver and his crew chief made their NASCAR premier series debut. Less than a decade later, Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham were in the record books. Evernham guided Gordon and the No. 24 team to three championships in four seasons (1995, 1997, 1998), and a series-leading 47 wins in the 1990s.
Evernham led Gordon to 47 Cup wins—including two Daytona 500s (1997, 1999), two Brickyard 400s (1994, 1998), and three titles (1995, 1997, 1998) before leaving Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the 1999 season.
Matching Evernham’s mechanical prowess was his innovation on pit road. Under his direction, the “Rainbow Warriors” revolutionized the art of the pit stop.
In 2001, Evernham tried his hand at ownership, leading the return of Dodge to NASCAR. His drivers won 13 times, including NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott’s (Class of 2015) triumph in the 2002 Brickyard 400. After selling majority ownership of his team in 2007, Evernham worked for ESPN as a race analyst before returning to Hendrick Motorsports in 2014 as a consultant for its competition department. After retiring from that role in 2017, Evernham has focused on his passion for vintage racing and preserving historic automobiles.
Born and raised in upstate New Jersey, Evernham is a child of the northeastern NASCAR Modified culture. He grew up competing on tracks like Wall Stadium and Flemington Raceway and won seven features at Wall from 1976-1981. Thus, The Ghost is Evernham’s full-circle moment.