The driver who changed NASCAR forever

The driver who changed NASCAR forever

Before 1994, NASCAR's image was reasonably unsophisticated compared to today. Then, the first win for Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham - 25 years ago on Wednesday - ushered in a new corporate era that changed the championship's nature

Twenty-five years ago, on 29 May 1994, the future of NASCAR, stock car racing and American motorsport changed forever when Jeff Gordon and his crew chief Ray Evernham scored their first career victory together for Hendrick Motorsports.

The most significant and storied partnership in NASCAR history had begun in a North Carolina hotel ahead of a test in 1990. This would lead to a programme in the second-tier Busch Series, and their Cup series debut came in '92 at the season finale at Atlanta. While NASCAR's last proper owner/engineer/driver Alan Kulwicki emerged from a five-way title fight to take the win and the championship crown, and seven-time champion Richard Petty took part in his last race, only later would it be appreciated how significant that race was.

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