DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Already an accomplished mechanic, racer and podcaster, Ryan Eversley has expanded his role in motorsports to include sales.
Last month, he shared his appreciation for a 2022 Acura MDX A-Spec on Twitter, noting that he hopes it becomes his next company car. That tweet came a few months after another one about an Acura RDX A-Spec actually led to a sale.
Nothing like keeping your manufacturer happy.
“I realized that there are so many good drivers, especially in IMSA, that I’ve got to do something that sets me apart from being a fast, winning driver on track,” said Eversley, a factory Acura/Honda driver. “There are 100 guys who can do that. I’ve used my social media to build an audience, and then I’ve used that audience to help partners and sponsors like Acura and HPD (Honda Performance Development) see the value outside of the car.”
It’s working. Eversley will return to the No. 94 Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic FK7 TCR with teammates Todd Lamb and Greg Strelzoff for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race March 19 at Sebring International Raceway, the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120. His move to the team for 2021 reunited him with Lamb, Atlanta Speedwerks’ owner and Eversley’s longtime friend and former teammate.
“We already had a working relationship,” Eversley said. “We see each other all the time and we’re always racing against each other. There’s a level of respect that comes from guys that you know can do the job on and off the track. … We both have that scrappy, gritty kind of personality, so we always get along.”
After the second-place debut in the Touring Car (TCR) class in January at Daytona International Speedway, Eversley is ready to put his mechanical and racing skills back to work at Sebring. As a teenager, Eversley began wrenching. When he began driving, the knowledge of the internal workings of the cars helped.
“I think it was an advantage in years past when mechanical failures were more common,” Eversley said. “You could nurse something and you could diagnose a problem before it started happening. … Now that reliability is so good, I think the advantage it gives me is understanding what the crew is going through and knowing when and how to ask for things.”
Since his racing debut in 2004, Eversley has assembled a healthy collection of trophies, winning six times (all in a Honda Civic) in eight years in the Pilot Challenge and nine times in six years in the Pirelli World Challenge. In 2004, he scored American Le Mans Series podium finishes in a Le Mans Prototype 2 at Mid-Ohio, Lime Rock and Road Atlanta with Marshall Cooke Racing.
It all began with a set of wrenches and a desire to work his way into the seat. Eversley’s first race as a mechanic with Mike Johnson’s Archangel Motorsports was the SRP II class victory at the 2001 Rolex 24 At Daytona with drivers Andy Lally, Paul Macey, Martin Henderson and Peter Seldon.
“That gave me two very strong teachers in the sport to follow and learn and see how to go about it,” Eversley said of Johnson and Lally. “It clearly gave me an advantage.”
The side hustles, though, are nearly as profound. When he’s not racing, Eversley is co-hosting the “Dinner with Racers” podcast with Sean Heckman. He’s also a prolific tweeter, which leads to the occasional sale, whether intended or not.
In November, Eversley showed off the new ELS Studio audio system on an RDX via video on social media. That led to an email from a potential customer, which led to a purchase.
“I sold a car for them by posting a video of me blasting the radio,” Eversley said. “I filmed it on my cell phone and it was crystal clear. You could tell how good it would sound in real life. A guy watched it and said, ‘That’s pretty cool. I’m in the market.’
“He went to the dealership, drove the car and loved it. He turned to the dealer and said, ‘You’re probably not going to like this, but can I turn the stereo all the way up?’ Sure enough, the guy sent me an email saying he bought the car.”
In February, after tooling around California in a 2022 Acura MDX loaner, he took pics and did his best pitch on social media with a hint about its potential use as his next daily driver.
“That’s my goal,” Eversley said. “When I’m not in the car, how can I help justify my existence as a driver? It’s getting harder and harder to have these jobs and also harder and harder to justify big budgets for things.
“If I can say, ‘Hey, not only do I win races for you, but I also sold 10 to 15 cars last year.’ It’s a pretty common thing. They’re like, ‘Yeah, keep doing what you’re doing.’”