Modified racing took a step forward today, as Ray Evernham, NASCAR Hall of Fame crew chief and team owner, and ValvolineTM unveiled his modified retro race car at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The Evernham-designed car features advanced technology and safety measures, but its old-school automotive aesthetics and styling definitely reflect its roots in the 1960s short-track modified racing circuit of the Northeast.
Evernham combined his admiration for the racing on which he grew up with his knowledge and access to modern day technology and performance. The concept for this car was born out of Evernham’s passion for vintage race cars, respect for innovation and concern for safety.
“I’ve had this car in mind for years, and finally had the opportunity to make it happen with Valvoline and my team at Big Iron Garage,” said Evernham. “I named it ‘The Ghost’ because of its pearly white base color and the fact that it encompasses many of the cars I’ve raced, worked on and followed for more than 40 years. It literally is the ghost of my racing life.”
“The Ghost” is housed under a 1936 Chevrolet sedan body, but the chassis was custom-designed and built from the ground up by Evernham and his team including Eddie Bohn, lead mechanic, and Dan Baker, lead fabricator and painter, the old-fashioned way, without any help from computers. The aluminum body was completely hand-fabricated. Under the hood is an all-aluminum Chevrolet SB-2 engine by Pro Motor Engineering.
Evernham plans to race the car in several vintage racing events in 2018, at tracks like Road Atlanta and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will also enter the car in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and put it to the test at the Bonneville Salt Flats. He designed the car with this in mind, incorporating a wide range of adjustability to allow it to run on oval tracks, road courses, drag strips and hill climbs. There are also plans to have other professional drivers campaign the car.“When you look at this car, you think of the great days of the modifieds racing at places like Wall Stadium and Stafford Speedway, but when you look under the hood and in the cockpit you’ll see it’s an entirely different animal,” noted Evernham. “Our initial testing shows this car has a lot of power and great handling, so I’m looking forward to firing up our 2018 season and getting it on the racetrack.”“Valvoline is excited to partner with Ray and his outstanding team on this new project, which is the latest in a relationship that has been going strong for over 20 years,” said Jamal Muashsher, Valvoline vice president of marketing and customer experience.
“We wanted to share his story of hands-on expertise in the Big Iron Garage digital series for fans of racing, cars and Valvoline to enjoy on TeamValvoline.com.”