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Chip Ganassi Racing Celebrates 30th Anniversary in 2020

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Chip Ganassi Racing

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.

Chip Ganassi Racing Got Its Start At 1990 With A Single Car Entry In IndyCar.

“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.”

Chip Ganassi On Pit Road At The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Prior To The 1982 Indianapolis 500.

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).

Three Rivers Karting

“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.

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is celebrating CGR’s 30th Anniversary milestone in a year-long, multi-car exhibit titled “Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks To Success.”

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.

The Chip Ganassi Racing 30th Anniversary Commemorative Logo

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).

IndyCar

Josef Newgarden tops first INDYCAR practice as Laguna Seca

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Penske Entertainment: James Black

MONTEREY, CA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden is starting INDYCAR Championship weekend off on the right pedal by leading the first NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice session on Friday.

Newgarden’s No. 2 Hitachi Chevy turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 11.4103 seconds (112.824 mph) around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course circuit with Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta second-quickest at 1:11:8266 (112.170) in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda.

“Yeah, just a tricky session,” noted Newgarden. “There was a lot of people going off, there was a lot of dirt on the track, so it was quite difficult to put it together. So not a very straightforward session. But I think very productive in a lot of ways. It’s not a lot of running, and you’re trying to make the most use of just a couple runs, and I felt like we did that, so I was happy about that.”

Championship-leader Will Power was 7th quickest, 1:11:9858 (111.922) in the No. 12 Verizon Chevy.  Power leads Newgarden and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon by 20-points heading into Sunday’s season finale.

“Tough track, man,” said Power. “Very low grip. You get one lap on tires, and they’re gone. It’s hard to get a read because the car changes so much over a run.”

Three Rivers Karting

Championship contender Marcus Ericsson was tenth fastest in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda at 1:12:0803 (111.775) and trails Power by ??-points in the title fight.

“I’m hoping it’s going to be a high-deg (tire degradation) race, and it seems to be that way,” said Ericsson. “Usually our team and myself from my experience, we’re usually pretty good at that. Yeah, the tires seemed to degrade quite quickly here. It was the same in the test and the same today in practice.”

Last weekend’s winner Scott McLaughlin was next in line with a 1:12:0877 (111.764). McLaughlin has an outside shot at the title as he sits ??-points behind Power.

Dixon, the six-time series Champion, was 17th in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda at 1:12:3911 (111.295) despite a team test at the track a few weeks ago.

“It’s going to be a pretty high-deg  race, man,” said Dixon, who can tie INDYCAR Legend A.J. Foyt for all-time Championships with a seventh.

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IndyCar

Determined drive by Scott Dixon in Portland earns podium and shot at 7th Championship

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Penske Entertainment: James Black

PORTLAND, OR (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon is in the fight for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Championship after a third place finish in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland.

Dixon entered the race in third-place in the Championship fight, 14-points behind Team Penske’s Will Power and 11-points behind Power’s teammate Josef Newgarden.  Dixon leaves Portland tied with Newgarden but Power finished ahead of both and now sits 20-points ahead going into the season finale on Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca.

“Yeah, you know, still in it,” said Dixon. “That’s all that we can hope for.”

Dixon started the race from the 16th position after failing to advance out of the first round of knockout-style qualifying on Saturday.  Qualifying has been a bit of an ‘Achilles heel’ for the No. 9 this season.

“We’ve got to work on qualifying and stop making it so difficult on us,” reflected Dixon, who gained more positions (+13) than anyone in the field from the start to finish of the race. “The car was fantastic in Q1 on the box. Didn’t expect too much of a change and thought we would have converted easy and didn’t even make it. We have to stop doing these most improved days, for sure. It’s not that much fun.”

Dixon opened the race on the less-grippy Firestone primary tires while the majority of those starting ahead of him started on the stickier Firestone alternate tires and quickly moved up a couple of spots before being one of the first to come to pit road for his first pit stop on Lap 13.

Dixon’s No. 9 ‘Wolfpack’ crew swapped out the primary tires for the alternate tires, topped the PNC Bank Honda off with fuel and sent the six-time series Champion back out into the fight where he put his foot down and continued to gain positions as various strategies started playing out.

Dixon’s second to last pit-stop saw his crew put on used alternate Firestones, setting him up for new alternate tires for his final pit stop.  Dixon was chasing Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi for fifth place when CGR Managing Director and Dixon’s strategist Mike Hull called him to pit road for the last time.

“We had to use a lot of overtake early on, so that definitely changed things up, I think, for the strategy towards the final five there,” said Dixon. “Had a tricky moment with the 10 car coming in front of us in the pit, which kind of screwed us a bit as well, and lost a position that we should have got on Rossi, which was frustrating.”

Three Rivers Karting

Dixon’s frustration was short-lived as the caution came out on Lap 84 when Rinus VeeKay misjudged a pass on Dixon’s teammate Jimmie Johnson, pinching the No. 48 Carvana Honda into the wall ending Johnson’s day.

The 4-lap caution period set-up a restart with Scott McLaughlin leading Power, Pato O’Ward, Newgarden, Rossi and Dixon as the green flag dropped.  McLaughlin got a great start and Power settled in behind his teammate when O’Ward made an ambitious move trying to pass Power in Turn 1. It didn’t work.

“Yeah, he sent it straight into me,” Power explained. “I left as much room as I could. Inside, inside, and I kept going further, and, bam, he hit me over the curve. I didn’t expect it from Pato, though. He is usually a pretty good racer, pretty smart racer. He was probably needing to win the race to have a shot at the championship, so he probably just went a little bit too far.”

Turn 1 usually produces some memorable highlights at Portland and this restart was no different as right behind the Power/O’Ward tussle, Newgarden and Rossi got together opening the door for Dixon, who didn’t hesitate to take advantage.

“I think when I saw Josef break I was, like, ‘Wow, I’m not sure if he is going to make the corner,'” said Dixon. “He did all that he could to make the corner, but put him at a weird angle, and that, obviously, offset him and Rossi because Rossi had a great run on him out of 12 into turn one. Then, got a great exit.”

Dixon turned hard left, avoided that calamity, and carried the momentum through the turn and set his sights on O’Ward, who was still gaining speed after hitting Power and made a reactionary move to Dixon’s passing attempt, which is a violation of INDYCAR rules.

“I got a run on Pato, and he put a pretty big block on, and a lap later IndyCar called that, and I was able to get past, which thankfully I think the front three, we pulled a ten-second gap on the next pack where we pulled away really quickly,” said Dixon. “It was a great restart. Something that definitely helped us on the points side, and we’ll take what we can.”

Dixon set his sights on Power and was able to get within a second of the No. 12 Chevy but wasn’t able to challenge for the second spot on the podium.

“We did as much as we could today,” said Dixon.  “All in all, I think the team did a great job today. Yeah, we’ll see. See what comes next week. I think it’s pretty cool that we don’t need any resets or any chase championships or anything like that. It always comes down to the wire in the INDYCAR Series.”

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IndyCar

Ganassi’s Alex Palou won’t repeat as INDYCAR Champion

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Chip Ganassi Racing

PORTLAND, OR (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou’s hopes of repeating as NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion is over after Palou was mathematically eliminated after his 12th-place finish in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland.

Palou stated the race in the fourth position on Firestone alternate red sidewall tires and ran in the Top 5 through the first stint of the race.  Palou however radioed the No. 10 Ridgeline Lubricants crew during the second stint that something was wrong with the rear of the car.  Palou was on the less-grippy, black sidewall Firestone tires.

Three Rivers Karting

“Starting fourth, we were running okay in the beginning and then lost a bit of pace,” said Palou. “We’ll check on what went on today and recover next week in Laguna. We still have one race to go, and we will try to win it.”

Palou’s sits 66-points behind championship leader Will Power going into the season finale next Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Palou’s teammates Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson remain in the title fight with Dixon tied for second place, 20-points behind Power and Ericsson 39-points out of the top spot.

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