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Evernham finalizes deal to purchase East Lincoln Speedway

12/2/2008 - NASCAR

NEW YORK -- Ray Evernham, who is in the process of selling his remaining stock in Gillett Evernham Motorsports, on Tuesday finalized a deal to purchase East Lincoln Speedway.

The deal clears the way for Evernham to purchase the 3/8ths-mile dirt track in Stanley, N.C., from founders Ralph and Joanne Nantz.

"When I sold the majority interest in Evernham Motorsports to George Gillett in 2007, one of my goals was to find ways to give back to the sport and help up-and-coming drivers find a safe, low-cost way to race," Evernham said in statement.

"Unfortunately, rising property values and land development have taken away many of the great dirt tracks around the country. With the acquisition of the East Lincoln Speedway, I can make sure that racers in the Charlotte area will have access to a safe, low-cost, family friendly racing facility for many years to come."

Evernham is known as one of the greatest crew chiefs of all time, helping Jeff Gordon capture three Sprint Cup titles [1995, 1997-98] before moving into ownership in 2000.

Since selling majority ownership of GEM he has gradually stepped away from NASCAR's premier series to pursue other interests in motorsports.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com.