Ray Evernham and Erin Crocker Wed in Vegas (Photo: Jill Jennings)
A personal relationship between owner and driver was first suggested in April 2006 right here on Answer this..., after sources confirmed the two had gone public at the track. It came on the heels of Evernham's announcement that he and his wife of 19 years were separating and was ill-received by readers.
The relationship was later referenced in court papers filed by Evernham Motorsports driver Jeremy Mayfield, who alleged that Evernham's "close personal relationship" with Crocker was affecting the team. Evernham was perturbed by the gossip and refused to address the topic of his personal life when raised by the press, who had a field day -- some even suggesting that they'd been threatened with denial of team access if they asked questions or wrote about it.
A year or so after all the hoopla died down, Evernham admitted that his credibility had been damaged and that their relationship had a detrimental effect on Crocker's own driving career.
The couple has endured despite suffering more their fair share of public criticism and encountering plenty of their own everyday relationship struggles we all face.
Cheers to them. May they continue to thrive.