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Chip Ganassi Racing Looking To Add A 2nd Daytona 500 Win In Their 30th Season

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Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

DAYTONA, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing’s trophy’s are all on display at the team’s race shops in Indianapolis, Indiana and Concord, North Carolina.  One trophy Ganassi and company would like to add to the display case is another Harley J. Earl trophy, which goes to the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500.

Team Ganassi won the Daytona 500 a decade ago when Jamie McMurray took the No. 1 to Gatorade Victory lane.  2010 was a magical season for the team as they won the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400.

Three drivers out of the Ganassi stable will try to add to the team’s history by trying to win this year’s Daytona 500.  2004 Cup Series Champion Kurt Busch is driving Ganassi’s No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet (pictured above).  Busch won The Great American Race in 2017 and says there are a victory is not only prestigious but a key to starting a championship run.

“When you win the most iconic race in your series, for us in NASCAR it’s the Daytona 500, Sports Cars it’s the 24-Hours at Daytona or 24 Hours of Le Mans, in IndyCar if you win the Indianapolis 500 it’s a Championship all on its own,” Busch told The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast.  “It’s so powerful because of the prestige, the history and the value of what the race means.  It elevates you to championship status immediately before the season even really gets underway.”

Kyle Larson is in the No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet.  Larson had a shots at winning, ironically in 2017 when Busch took the win driving for Stewart Haas Racing.

“Hopefully we can do it,” Larson told The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast.  “I’ve been close one other time and ran out of fuel leading on the last lap.  It would be cool to win with Chip and Credit One Bank and add my name to the list of guys who’ve won this race.”

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 09: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 9, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

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Ganassi’s third driver in this year’s Daytona 500 is Ross Chastain.  Chastain is driving the No. 77 Advent Health Camaro.  It’s a Ganassi-prepared car that is being fielded in partnership with Spire Motorsports.  Chastain will start 20th in the field.

“This is a lifetime opportunity,” said Chastain.  “If I have a car with somewhat clean fenders at the end, we’re going to have a bullet and you just point and shoot at the end and hope you make it.  Making it to the end is a big deal.  That’s what we did last year, we attrition-raced.  It’s not pretty when you are doing it but man we were there at the end with 10 or 11-cars left and had a shot.”

The No. 77 Advent Health Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing Camaro and driver Ross Chastain.

The former driver-turned-owner, who has 19-Championships in his tenure, still knows what it takes to win.

“In NASCAR you have to get your car running on old tires because you’re on old tires more than anything,” Ganassi told The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast.  “When you put on a new set of stickers on you go out and rip off a fast lap that’s great and it looks good on the sheet, but I don’t know what it means for the race, because so often you’re going 40, 50, 60-laps without a stop time after time after time so you have to get car working on old tires to have any chance.”

There are only seven active Daytona 500 winners set to hit the track for Sunday’s 62nd running of the historic race. Denny Hamlin (2016, 2019) and Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2013) are the only drivers in the field with multiple checkered flags.  The other past winners include Austin Dillon (2018), Joey Logano (2015), Kevin Harvick (2007), Ryan Newman (2008) and Busch (2017).

Hamlin and seven-time NASCAR Cup Champion Johnson are the only active drivers to have won two Daytona 500 races. Three drivers in series history have won back-to-back Daytona 500 events (Sterling Marlin – 1994, 1995; Cale Yarborough – 1983, 1984; Richard Petty – 1973, 1974).

JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will lead the field to the green flag. Hendrick Motorsports Alex Bowman will start on the outside of the front row.

IndyCar

The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast – Episode 007

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – This week on The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast, we talk with W Series and Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires driver Sabré Cook, who is also an engineer.  We also talk with 3-time Lernerville 410-Sprint Car division Champion A.J. Flick.  Sit back, relax and enjoy!

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IndyCar

Racing Notebook – Thursday, March 19: F1 Postpones Monaco; WoO Postpones Races and more

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Formula 1

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Formula One and the World of Outlaws are the latest sanctioning bodies to postpone races because of the coronavirus outbreak.  The RUSH Sprint Car Series gets a new points fund sponsor and “Super Tex” taking care of his employees during a difficult time.

Formula One Postpones Monaco Grand Prix:

  • Formula One has postponed three additional races because of the coronavirus pandemic including the Monaco Grand Prix.  Also postponed were the Dutch and Spanish GP’s.  The first seven races of the F1 season have now been postponed. The next race on the calendar is in Azerbaijan on June 7.  F1 has moved the mid-season break from August to March and April and has extended the break from 14 to 21 consecutive days. The F1 season is scheduled to end with the Abu Dhabi GP on Nov. 29, but could be extended to fit in some of the postponed races.
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World of Outlaws Postpones Races:

  • The World of Outlaws has postponed all NOS Energy Sprint Car and Morton Building Late Model races through March. The sanctioning body hopes to reschedule the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series races originally planned for Friday, March 27th at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, TN and Saturday, March 28th at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC. The World of Outlaws will continue to monitor developments across our nation and make decisions on future events when appropriate.

A.J. Foyt Racing To Pay Employees During COVID-19 Shutdown:

  • A.J. Foyt Racing is continuing to pay their employees despite temporarily shutting down their race shops in Texas and Indianapolis due to the coronavirus outbreak. “Our biggest concern is for the health of our communities and our employees, so we are closing the race shops for the time being,” said Larry Foyt, president of A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Inc. “I want to thank our partners and sponsors for their support and understanding during these extraordinary times. Many people will face some difficult challenges in the coming days. A.J. and I wish everyone the best, and we look forward to going racing again when the time is right.”

The RUSH Sprint Car Series Gets A New Points Fund Sponsor:

  • The RUSH Racing Series announced that Equipment Rental Options are stepping up to be the sponsor of the RUSH Sprint Car Series weekly championship points fund, replacing original points fund sponsor Bonnell’s Rod Shop.  The RUSH Sprint Car Series opens their 2020 season May 2 at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.  Read our complete story here.
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Equipment Rental Options To Sponsor RUSH Sprint Car Weekly Championship Point Fund

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PULASKI, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The RUSH Racing Series has announced the Equipment Rental Options has signed on to be the presenting sponsor of the Weekly Championship Points Fund for the RUSH Sprint Car Series.

The 2020 Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Championship will feature 30 RUSH Sprint Car events concluding with the “Steel City Stampede” at Lernerville Speedway on October 17.

Equipment Rental Options is co-owned by current RUSH Sprint Car racer, Arnie Kent.  Kent, who got his start in Micro Sprints before moving up the Sprint Car ladder, won the division’s first ever race in 2018 at Lernerville.

“We’re very thankful Arnie has stepped up with his Equipment Rental Options so we can maintain the lucrative point fund,” said Vicki Emig, RUSH Racing Series Director.  “Arnie has been a longtime friend of both Mike (Leone, RUSH Director) and myself as well as many of our racers, and we’re really looking forward to being able to promote his growing business!”

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Equipment Rental Options currently has two locations in western Pennsylvania; one in Hermitage and another in New Castle; Equipment Rental Options will be moving into a larger facility at 3587 Clover Lane just off Wilmington Road (Route 18) in New Castle this summer.

Bonnell’s Rod Shop had been the presenting sponsor of the Weekly Series Championship during the first two years of the division’s inception. In fact, their sponsorship allowed the point fund to grow to more than $20,000 after the program was originally announced back in 2017.

“We have to thank Scott Bonnell for his unwavering support of the RUSH Sprint Cars,” said Emig. “Scott was behind the concept from day one, had a car in the Series, and offered financial support to grow the point fund without us even approaching him. We know he will remain a strong proponent of the Series.”

The RUSH Sprint Car Series Season Opener is scheduled for May 2 at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.

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