CONCORD, NC (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi’s race team is celebrating another milestone. 2020 marks the team’s 30th anniversary.
Ganassi started Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) as a single-car entry in IndyCar back 1990 following the conclusion of his own driving career.
“I always tell people I had a fossil fuel-fired youth having raced karts, motorcycles, IndyCars and Sports Cars,” said Ganassi. “I could have never imagined owning a race team back then, and now it’s incredible to see where it is now.”
In the 30-years since, Ganassi’s teams have tallied 223-wins over 3,630-starts across NASCAR’s Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series, IndyCar, IMSA (International Motor Sports Association), WEC (World Endurance Championship), ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) and GRC (Global Rally Cross) for eight different manufacturers (Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Toyota, Dodge, Oldsmobile, Lexus and BMW).
Several of those victories came in some of the most iconic races around the globe. CGR has scored eight wins in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, four Indianapolis 500 victories as well as wins in the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400, the 12-Hours of Sebring and the 24-Hours of Le Mans.
Ganassi’s teams have captured 19-series Championships along the way (12-IndyCar including four-straight titles twice: 1996-1999 & 2008-2011; 7-Sports Car).
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 30-years,” said Ganassi. “I’ve been lucky to have great people, great partners and great drivers work with me in that time.”
Those partners today include Pittsburgh-headquartered PNC Bank, NTT Data, Monster Energy, Credit One Bank, Clover, McDonald’s, GEARWRENCH, AdventHealth, HUSKI Chocolate, Chevrolet and Honda to name a few.
Ganassi has been honored with several awards including:
- 2018: Received the Bruton Smith Legend Award for his success, innovation and positive example across multiple levels of motorsports.
- 2016: Inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame for his many contributions to the world of auto racing.
- 2012: Named by Complex Magazine as one of the “50 most influential people in the Auto Industry”. His ranking of 17th was the highest rank for a person from North America from the Racing Industry.
- 2011: Received the first-ever Dapper Dan Sports Leadership Award.
Chip Ganassi Racing plans to roll-out a season-long social media campaign including a commemorative logo throughout the year (pictured below), a CGR Special Edition Prize Pack for fans and a CGR Memorable Moments video series. Fans should make sure they are following the team on Social Media platforms like Twitter: @CGRTeams @CGRnascar @CGRindycar @CGRgaming.
Ganassi says he is revved up to drop the green flag on the 2020 racing season, which begins this weekend with Speedweeks in Daytona.
“I’m not going anywhere, and I think we have a lot of wins and championships left in us,” said Ganassi. “I can’t wait for the 2020 season to open for us in Daytona and St. Petersburg.”
CGR KEY FACTS, FIGURES AND MILESTONES:
- First Win – March 20, 1994 (IndyCar, Australia, Michael Andretti).
- In 2010, Ganassi’s teams turned in an historic season by setting an organization record with 19 wins across three touring series, including victories in the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, making him the only team owner in history to win all three crown jewels of racing, and he accomplished it in a single season.
- In 2011, his IMSA team finished off the “Chip Slam” by also winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona, making Ganassi the first owner to hold all four titles at one time.
- First NASCAR Win – August 19, 2001 – (Michigan International Speedway, Sterling Marlin).
- First Sports Car Win – May 23, 2004 – (Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz).
- Indianapolis 500 Wins – (2000-Juan Pablo Montoya, 2008-Scott Dixon, 2010-Dario Franchitti, 2012-Dario Franchitti).
- Daytona 500 – 2010 (Jamie McMurray).
- Brickyard 400 – 2010 (Jamie McMurray).
- 12 Hours of Sebring – 2014 (Marino Franchitti, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas).
- Global Rallycross two-time winner and X-Games Silver Medal Winner (2015, Brian Deegan).
- 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2016 (Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and Sebastien Bourdais).
- Rolex 24 At Daytona Wins – (2006-Dan Wheldon, Scott Dixon and Casey Mears, 2007-Scott Pruett, Juan Pablo Montoya and Salvador Duran, 2008-Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Juan Pablo Montoya and Dario Franchitti, 2011-Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Graham Rahal and Joey Hand, 2013- Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Charlie Kimball and Juan Pablo Montoya, 2015-Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson, 2017-Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and Sebastien Bourdais, 2018-Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook).
- Championships – (INDYCAR – 1996-Jimmy Vasser, 1997-Alex Zanardi, 1998-Alex Zanardi, 1999-Juan Pablo Montoya, 2003-Scott Dixon, 2008-Scott Dixon, 2009-Dario Franchitti, 2010-Dario Franchitti, 2011-Dario Franchitti, 2013-Scott Dixon, 2015-Scott Dixon, 2018-Scott Dixon), (Sports Car – 2004-Scott Pruett and Max Papis, 2006-Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz, 2008-Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, 2010-Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, 2011-Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, 2012-Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, 2013-Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas).
- 100th Win – July 12, 2008 (INDYCAR, Nashville SuperSpeedway, Scott Dixon).
- 200th Win – January 28, 2018 (IMSA, Daytona International Speedway, Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook).
- 223rd Win (most recent) – October 6, 2019 (NASCAR, Dover International Speedway, Kyle Larson).
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou Wins NTT INDYCAR SERIES Championship
LONG BEACH, CA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – In just his first year with the team Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou is your 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion.
Palou’s 4th-place finish in Sunday’s season-ending Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach guaranteed the 24-year-old native of Spain his first INDYCAR Championship in his second season and the Ganassi team their 14th title since 1996.
“This team is amazing,” said Palou. “I’m super proud to be a part of Chip Ganassi Racing, all our partners. I’m super proud to be a champion and for the opportunity these guys gave me. What a race, what a year, what a season.”
“People win Championships,” said team owner Chip Ganassi. “The driver, the team, and especially the people behind the scenes, leaving the shop in the winter when it’s dark out and snowing, that don’t get the notoriety.”
Palou started the race in tenth position in the No. 10 NTT Data Honda. Palou’s closest Championship rival, Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward, started the race in eighth position. Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden started on the pole position with Palou’s CGR teammate Scott Dixon alongside in second place in the No. 9 PNC Bank Grow Up Great Honda.
Newgarden took the lead in turn one with Dixon in tow as the field took the green flag. The race wasn’t even 2-laps old when Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan’s Ed Jones made an ambitious attempt to pass James Hinchcliffe, but made contact with O’Ward with Palou right behind Jones!
📲: INDYCAR APP – https://t.co/vyuISIyifv
— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) September 26, 2021
O’Ward brought out the caution flag a short time later on lap 20 when the right rear driveshaft failed on the front stretch.
— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) September 26, 2021
The caution flag shuffled the field as some cars went to pit road for service while other cars stayed out to gain track position, giving the lead to Helio Castroneves, who took a turn at the front of the field until he went to pit road on lap 34, giving the lead to Colton Herta.
Herta earned his turn at the front as he was making moves through the field throughout the race and following the last restart, it was Newgarden and Dixon giving chase. Palou was behind Dixon in fourth doing what he needed to get the car to the checkered flag in one piece.
Herta pulled away in the end to a .5883-second victory, his ?? win of 2021. Newgarden finished second to jump O’Ward for second in the Championship, 38-points behind Palou.
Dixon finished third followed by Palou in fourth. Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud rounded out the Top 5.
Alexander Rossi, Jack Harvey, Sebastian Bourdais, Takuma Sato and Will Power made up spots 6 through 10.
Honda claimed the Engine Manufacturer’s Championship for the fourth straight year.
Josef Newgarden wins pole position for INDYCAR Acura Long Beach Grand Prix
LONG BEACH, CA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden is on the pole position for Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES season-ending Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Newgarden’s fast lap of 1-minute, 8.2241-seconds around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street circuit was .2181-seconds faster than Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon’s best lap in the No. 9 PNC Bank Grow Up Great Honda.
The pole position and valuable Championship point is exactly what Newgarden needs to do to win his third series title. Newgarden enters the race in third position in the standings, 48-points behind leader Alex Palou, and must win, lead the most laps and hope Palou finishes 25th or worse.
“It’s very improbable for us to win this championship,” Newgarden said. “So, our goal is to win the race tomorrow. Let’s finish our season on a high note, and we’ll see what happens. I think it’s pretty unlikely, but you never say never in this sport.”
The only other driver with a shot at the Championship is Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward, who will start eighth in the 28-car field. O’Ward also needs to win and hope for Palou to finish 25th or worse.
“Our car has been good,” said O’Ward. “We didn’t roll off the best, but I think we made some really good changes, just kept improving. We had enough for the Fast 6.”
Palou will start 10th in the No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Palou and O’Ward were on flying laps when they were forced to slow for a local yellow for Will Power, costing both valuable lap time which eventually cost both the ability to advance to the final round of knockout-style qualifying.
“That yellow flag didn’t help us at all,” said Palou. “I think we were going to be easy through, but racing stuff, right? I’m happy because the car’s good, a bit better than yesterday and this morning.”
“Kind of sucks to get hosed by a very odd call,” added O’Ward. “We should have been in the Fast 6.”
Palou must finish 12th or better – or 13th or better if he leads a lap – to clinch his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship and CGR’s 14th title since 1996!
Live coverage of the 85-lap race starts at 3 p.m. (ET) Sunday on NBCSN and the INDYCAR Radio Network. A 30-minute warmup starts at noon (ET), live on Peacock Premium.
Colton Herta goes back-to-back at Laguna Seca
MONTEREY, CA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta won Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey giving him back-to-back victories two decades after his father accomplished the same feat. Herta beat Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou by 1.9747-seconds to pick up his second victory of 2021 and fifth of his career.
“Alex, really the whole race, was right there,” said Herta. “Then Grosjean at the end pressured Alex, therefore pressured me. To go two-for-two so far (at Laguna Seca) is great. We were fast all weekend, and I’m glad we could pull it off in the race.”
Palou continued his march towards his first series title with a second place after last week’s win at Portland, which gives Palou and the No. 10 NTT DATA team a 35-point lead ahead of second place Pato O’Ward.
“Unfortunately we didn’t have the pace that Colton had,” explained Palou. “I think in reds and blacks he had a bit more. As soon as I tried to catch him, which we tried, I would just cook my tires. Yeah, I couldn’t go as fast as him without losing my tires.”
Palou, O’Ward and two-time series champion Josef Newgarden are the only drivers eligible to win the Astor Challenge Cup at the season finale. Newgarden is third in the standings, 48 points back.
Six-time series champion Scott Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Marcus Ericsson were eliminated from contention at this race after finishing 13th and sixth, respectively.
“All weekend we didn’t have it,” O’Ward said. “I truly feel like we used every single ounce of energy and pace that this car had. We pulled off a near-miracle in qualifying to start in the first three rows. In the race, honestly, that was as much as I had.
“All we can do at Long Beach is win, and then let everything else fall. I’ve got faith in myself. I know I’m pretty handy around a street course, so let’s see what we can pull off next week.”
Herta’s victory clinched the Manufacturers Championship for the fourth consecutive season.