Rome, NY native Evans’ name became synonymous with Modified racing. He won nine NASCAR national Modified titles, including an incredible eight in a row (1978-1985). He was just as adept at wrenching race cars. Evans left the family farm at 16 to become a mechanic. A racer suggested he build a hobby car to run at nearby Utica-Rome Speedway. Evans was 32 when he won his first national Modified crown. Winning eight consecutive titles remains one of the sport’s supreme accomplishments. Some of Evans’ seasons were mind-boggling. In 1979 he started 60 NASCAR races, won 37 and scored 54 Top 5s. In 1983, he started 68 NASCAR races, won 31 and scored 57 Top 5 finishes. Overall, Evans won more than 400 feature races before being fatally injured in a practice crash at Martinsville at age 44. Named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, Evans was ranked #1 on its all-time Modified Top 10 list and inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011, the first driver from outside its premier division.