Chip Ganassi Racing

Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, also known as Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates or simply Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR), is an automotive racing organization with teams competing in the IndyCar Series, NASCAR Monster Energy Cup and Xfinity Series, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and the FIA World Endurance Championship. It was founded in 1990 by businessman and former race driver Chip Ganassi, initially competing in the CART IndyCar World Series. In 2001, Ganassi bought a majority stake in Sabates' Team SABCO NASCAR team, marking his entry into that championship, while later moving his CART team to the rival Indy Racing League (now Verizon IndyCar Series) and competing in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. In 2008, Ganassi partnered with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. owner Teresa Earnhardt to merge their NASCAR operations into Ganassi's shop and operated independently as Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The NASCAR team dropped the Earnhardt name in 2014, and Ganassi revealed that Teresa was never truly involved with the team. Rob Kauffman, chairman of the Race Team Alliance, purchased a stake in the team in 2015.

Together, they have won 10 Open Wheel titles (4 in CART, 6 in IndyCar), 5 Grand-Am Road Racing championships, and wins in the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and a 24 Hours of Le Mans class win.

In 1989, Chip Ganassi, who had driven in the IndyCar World Series but had his career cut short due to a career-ending crash at Michigan in 1984, joined Pat Patrick as co-owner for Emerson Fittipaldi's Marlboro IndyCar team. Patrick had announced he was going to retire at the end of the year, and the team would go completely to Ganassi. The team won the Indy 500 and the IndyCar Championship.

By season's end, Patrick had second thoughts. Instead of retracting the sale of the team to Ganassi, he went ahead with the deal as planned, and instead restarted his team by taking over the upstart Alfa Romeo IndyCar effort for 1990. Fittipaldi took the Marlboro sponsorship to Team Penske, an arrangement that was also pre-planned. (Penske had supplied Patrick with a fleet of Penske chassis for 1989 as part of the deal).

Ganassi officially took over the remaining assets of the team (including the 1989 Penske chassis), and renamed it Chip Ganassi Racing. He signed former Formula One driver Eddie Cheever and raced full-time in the IndyCar World series with Target as primary sponsor.

In 1992 Ganassi expanded to a two-car effort for the Indy 500, adding Arie Luyendyk for the Indy-only entry. Later Ganassi debuted rookie Robby Gordon in selected events. For 1993, Luyendyk replaced Cheever full-time. Luyendyk and won the pole position for the Indy 500 and finished second to Fittipaldi, Ganassi's former driver in his partnership with Patrick. For 1994, Michael Andretti joined the team, immediately after returning from his failed transition to Formula One in 1993. He scored Ganassi's first IndyCar victory at Surfers Paradise.

This page was last edited on 23 February 2018, at 09:13.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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