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).
Indy Autonomous Challenge Race Car Unveiled
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The world’s first high-speed, head-to-head autonomous race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will feature Dallaras as the race cars.
Energy Systems Network (ESN) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) this week unveiled the official race car that will be autonomously driven by scores of university teams in the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC) at the Racing Capital of the World on Oct. 23, 2021.
Dallara has been the sole racecar supplier of the Indy Lights series since 2002, and now the modified Dallara IL-15 is the official IAC racecar.
“Dallara is the best racecar engineering company in the world, yet designing the chassis for autonomous racing was really challenging,” explained Stefano dePonti, CEO and general manager of Dallara USA. “Dallara loves innovation and technological challenges, and we share the IAC’s passion for education and motorsports.”
“The Dallara-built IAC racecar is the most advanced, fastest autonomous vehicle ever developed,” stated Paul Mitchell, president and CEO of ESN, and co-organizer of the IAC. “Our IAC sponsors are providing radar, lidar, optical cameras and advanced computers, bringing the value of each vehicle to $1 million.”
One of the teams competing in the challenge is the Panther AV RAS-ing team from the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.
Panther AV RAS-ing is part of more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students, PhDs and mentors who excel in artificial intelligence software that have responded to the challenge. The challengers represent 39 universities in 11 countries on four continents and 14 U.S. states.
The IAC is scheduled for October 23, 2021, at the IMS, with a qualifying simulation race during the Indy 500 week in May. The total IAC prize purse is $1.5 million: $1 million awarded to the winning team of the October IAC race, and an additional $500,000 for winners of the hackathons and simulation races.
“The IAC is going to bring the best minds from around the world to solve a very complex problem, right here at the Racing Capital of the World,” said IMS President J. Douglas Boles. “As the birthplace of motorsports’ innovation, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a fitting setting for this event, and we can’t wait to see the winning entry cross the Yard of Bricks into history.”
Two companies headquartered in Western Pennsylvania are sponsors of the event. Ansys, a global leader in engineering simulation that is headquartered in Canonsburg, and Aptiv, an autonomous vehicle company who is relocating from O’Hara Township to Hazelwood Green.
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Rescheduled
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The NTT INDYCAR SERIES Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is being rescheduled from its traditional March date to April 23-25, 2021.
The move to a later spring date is being made in the hopes that a greater number of fans will be able to attend the event, which takes place on the streets of St. Petersburg and the Albert Whitted Airport.
“I want to thank our friends at INDYCAR and our partners at Green Savoree for putting the health and safety of fans first,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. “Each of these races takes an incredible amount of work from hundreds of dedicated professionals, and I know the decision to move the date of the race is not made lightly. I appreciate the drivers, teams, staff and most of all the fans for their patience and understanding. I look forward to welcoming everyone to the next Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
The COVID-19 Pandemic forced the 2020 event to be moved from the season opening race to the season finale, where Josef Newgarden picked up the win and Chip Ganassi Racing‘s Scott Dixon was crowned the series Champion for the 6th time.
“It’s not surprising that an event of this magnitude, scheduled for the first week of March, is still subject to the implications of the pandemic,” said Penske Entertainment Corp President and CEO Mark Miles. “We’re delighted we were able to work with Mayor Rick Kriseman’s administration and Green Savoree Racing Promotions to find a more suitable date, which helps consolidate the beginning of our schedule and allows us to stay on NBC Network televison.”
The April 23-25 date on the INDYCAR Schedule announced last fall was originally supposed to be the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach but that event has been moved to the season finale, which opened the date for St. Pete.
“We appreciate the officials at INDYCAR for their support in setting a new date for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and also to Mayor Kriseman and his team at the City of St. Petersburg for identifying a time when it will be conducive for more fans to attend,” said Kim Green, co-owner, Chairman and CEO fo Green-Savoree St. Petersburg, LLC. “We are grateful to keep the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in the springtime window and also maintain the live national broadcast of the race on NBC.”
The shifting of race dates moves Barber Motorsports Park to the season opener on April 11th. The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg follows April 25th with Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader May 1st and 2nd.
An updated listing of green flag times will be announced at a later date.
Aldo Andretti Passes Away
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Aldo Andretti has passed away at the age of 80. Andretti was the twin brother of Mario Andretti and a racer himself who survived two bad crashes, the second of which in 1969 book his jaw, 14-bones and his right eye socket.
“Though Aldo’s life took a different direction than brother Mario’s, Aldo forever shared a passion for racing and was a true motor enthusiast and entrepreneur,” Andretti Autosport said in a release. “He could often still be found on the racing circuit supporting and following the careers of the family.”
Mario Andretti took to his twitter page to express his grief:
Aldo Andretti, my loving twin brother, my partner in crime and my faithful best friend every day of my life was called to heaven last night. Half of me went with him. There is no eloquence. I'm shaken to my core. pic.twitter.com/NJ3fZxklNo
— Mario Andretti (@MarioAndretti) December 31, 2020
One of those careers Aldo passionately followed was that of his son John (pictured with above) who raced in INDYCAR, NASCAR, Sports Cars and Drag Racing. John passed away in January after a long battle with colon cancer.
“Nothing mattered more to Aldo than family, and it brought him great pride to share his life with wife and high-school sweetheart Corky and their five children Carolyn, Mark, John, Mary Jo and Adam.” the Andretti Autosport release stated.
Aldo’s nephew, 2020 Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter Marco Andretti, also shared his feelings on social media.
RIP uncle Aldo. One of the toughest guys I have ever met. I have never heard him complain, a trait that he passed down to John. Always so positive and upbeat and raised an amazing side of our Andretti family. 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/D6p3RyTdkG
— Marco Andretti (@MarcoAndretti) December 31, 2020
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at noon on Jan. 5 at St. Malachy Catholic Church in Brownsburg. The family will receive friends from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 4, at Stevens Mortuary in Indianapolis.