Ray Evernham, legendary NASCAR pit crew chief and current ESPN analyst, drew upon his own experience in the automotive industry as he spoke with technical students during the 48th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference presented by SkillsUSA. Evernham was among more than 14,000 technical students, advisors, parents and industry supporters who descended upon the Kansas City Convention Center, in Kansas City, Mo., for the event held June 23-27.
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Evernham started his career as an attendant at his father’s Texaco Service Station in New Jersey. His automotive knowledge led him to NASCAR, where he connected with driver Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 team. Together, they collected three NASCAR Series championships.
Today, Evernham is a spokesperson for Ingersoll Rand, a world leader in creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments. Evernham was on hand to educate attendees about the Ingersoll Rand student program, which offers current students a 50 to 60 percent discount on tools. Evernham shared some encouraging words with students who visited the booth.
“You may not know what you want to do yet, and that’s OK,” said Evernham. “But find something you’re passionate about — and go for it.”
Evernham also participated in the a href="http://workshop.search-autoparts.com/_SkillsUSA-2012- Jim-Lentz-President-and-CEO-of-Toyota-Motor-Sales- USA/video/1737181/31710.html">SkillsUSA Amazing Race. Similar to the popular TV show, SkillsUSA Amazing Race contestants completed a series of challenges as they raced through TECHSPO, the technical education industry’s largest trade show. Ingersoll Rand was one of 10 industry leaders who sponsored competitions along the way.
Students met Evernham at stop No. 9, and had to answer his NASCAR-related trivia questions correctly before they were given the clue to the location of the next challenge. Contestants who reached the finish line were eligible for prizes, which included an Ingersoll Rand 231C 1/2" impact wrench and an autographed copy of Ray Evernham’s biographical book.
Learn more about Evernham’s relationship with Ingersoll Rand at www.irracing.com.