Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
|Base||8500 Westmoreland Drive
Concord, North Carolina 28027
|Series||Sprint Cup Series|
|Race drivers||1. Jamie McMurray
42. Kyle Larson
|Debut||2009 Daytona 500|
|Latest race||2013 Ford EcoBoost 400 (Homestead)|
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGRFS) is a NASCAR team based in Concord, North Carolina, United States, owned by Dale Earnhardt's widow Teresa Earnhardt, Chip Ganassi, and Felix Sabates. This team was formed when Dale Earnhardt, Inc. agreed to merge its teams with the NASCAR operation of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates after both teams found it difficult to secure sponsorship. Ganassi's other race teams, including its IndyCar Series team, and the business operations of DEI continue to exist as separate entities.
Car No. 1 History
Dale Earnhardt, Inc. debuted in Winston Cup in 1996 as the #14 Racing for Kids Chevrolet, driven by Robby Gordon at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jeff Green drove the car in two more races that year. The next year, Busch Series standout Steve Park drove the car in five races with the Burger King sponsorship. In 1998, the team switched numbers with car owner Richard Jackson with the car changing from #14 to #1, and receiving sponsorship from Pennzoil and Park making a bid for NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors. The team got off to a bumpy start after Park failed to qualify at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in just the third race of the year. The next week, Park broke his leg in a practice accident at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Two weeks later, the team hired three-time champion Darrell Waltrip to pilot the car while Park recovered from his injuries. Waltrip posted two top ten finishes in the car until Park made his return at the Brickyard 400, where he finished 35th following a crash. He posted two eleventh-place finishes and finished 42nd in points that year.
Park fared better the next year, posting 5 top 10 finishes and finishing 14th in points. In 2000, Park won his first two Bud Pole awards, and won his first race at his home track at Watkins Glen International Raceway. He finished 11th year in points. The race after Earnhardt's death in 2001, Park beat Bobby Labonte in a photo finish at North Carolina Speedway. But his career stalled when competing in a Busch Series race at Darlington Speedway, his steering wheel became disconnected from the steering column during a caution flag period and his car veered immediately left and was slammed into by the quicker-moving vehicle of Larry Foyt. Kenny Wallace, who had lost his ride earlier in the season, took over the #1 for the rest of the season and tied his career best finish with a second place run at North Carolina before the season was out.
Wallace started the 2002 Winston Cup season in the #1 but was replaced by Park at Darlington after he recovered enough to return to competition. However, the accident was still affecting Park and he struggled to regain his form. Midway through 2003, in an effective trade with Richard Childress Racing, Park and the driver of RCR's #30 AOL Chevrolet, Jeff Green, switched rides. However, Green struggled just as much as Park did and left for Petty Enterprises to drive the #43 after twelve races, with John Andretti finishing the season in the #1. Pennzoil left the team after the 2003 season, and the #1 scaled back to part-time status with Andretti driving.
The team ran a part-time schedule in 2005 with Martin Truex Jr. driving a Bass Pro Shops-sponsored car, and moved back to full-time status in 2006. On June 4, 2007, Truex scored his first career NEXTEL Cup victory in the #1 car at Dover International Speedway, in a COT race. Truex also made the Chase For the Nextel Cup that year, DEI's only representative and the last DEI car to qualify for the Chase. He did not return to Victory Lane in 2008 and failed to make the chase. At the end of 2009, Truex left the team for Michael Waltrip Racing to drive the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry. He was replaced by Jamie McMurray, who was let go after Roush Fenway Racing downsized to four cars and who had driven for the Ganassi organization from 2002 until 2005, winning his first Cup race with the team as a substitute driver.
McMurray won the 2010 Daytona 500 for EGR in his first race in the #1 car. It was the second time that the #1 had visited victory lane after Truex's win, and the first win for an Earnhardt or Ganassi team car since Juan Pablo Montoya won the Toyota/Save Mart 350 three weeks after Truex took the win at Dover. McMurray returned to the winner's circle by winning the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, the first time that he had won multiple races in a season since joining the Cup Series full-time in 2003. Inconsistency in other races, however, kept McMurray out of the Chase. He added a third win at the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte during the Chase, the second time he has won that race (the first was his first career victory in the then-UAW GM Quality 500 in 2002). McMurray finished 14th in the final standings.
Car No. 8 History
The #8 car started out in the NASCAR Busch Series as the #3 ACDelco Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 1998. Junior won championships in both 1998 and 1999 in the Busch Series in this car. In 1999, Earnhardt drove in five Winston Cup races in the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet, finishing in the top 10 once, leading one lap, and one DNF. (The number 8 had been previously used by Stavola Brothers Racing, who had ceased operation two years prior.)
In 2000, Junior made a full-time jump to Winston Cup. Despite winning two poles and three races (including The Winston), Junior finished runner-up to Matt Kenseth for NASCAR Rookie of the Year. On July 7 2001, he won his third race in the cup series, and his first restrictor plate race at the famed Daytona International Speedway following his father's death. On February 15, 2004, Dale won the Daytona 500, 6 years after his father won the 500. He went on to collect five more wins for the season. Though he failed to qualify for the Chase for the Cup in 2005, he rebounded in 2006 and qualified for the 2006 Chase for the Cup, where he finished 5th. Earnhardt, Jr announced on May 10, 2007, that he would not be returning to DEI for the 2008 season. On June 13, 2007, it was officially announced that Dale Earnhardt Jr. would be moving to Hendrick Motorsports for the 2008 season. On August 16, 2007 it was announced that during the transition to HMS, Dale Earnhardt Jr. would not retain the #8 car number. On September 12 it was announced that the 8 car would be shared by Mark Martin and Aric Almirola for the 2008 season, with the U.S. Army sponsoring. Martin left DEI following the season to drive the #5 car for Hendrick Motorsports, and the U.S. Army left following the season as well to sponsor Ryan Newman's #39 car for Stewart Haas Racing.
Almirola was signed to drive the #8 Chevrolet for the full 2009 season, pending sponsorship. However, after running five races with Guitar Hero World Tour on the car, EGR announced following the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 that the operations of the #8 team were being suspended indefinitely due to lack of sponsorship. Almirola went to the 09 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet in 2010, then left later into the season to drive full-time in the Camping World Truck Series.
Car No. 42 History
What is now the #42 car began as the #87 NEMCO Motorsports car owned and driven by Joe Nemechek. After he signed with SABCO in 1996, Sabates bought the majority ownership of the team, which debuted at the 1997 Daytona 500 as the #46 First Union Chevy driven by Wally Dallenbach Jr.. After skipping several races, the team moved to full-time racing. Dallenbach competed in 22 races and finished 41st in points. He only raced in four races in the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Series before he was replaced by a rotation of drivers including Jeff Green, Morgan Shepherd, and Tommy Kendall. After First Union stopped their backing at the end of the season, the team was scheduled to close down, but instead it changed its number to #01 and served as the team's research and development car. Green, Steve Grissom, and Ron Hornaday drove the car on a limited schedule in 1999. The team reappeared at Sears Point in 2001 as car #04 when Jason Leffler drove the car while Dorsey Schroeder piloted his regular ride; Leffler did not qualify for the race. The car came back as #42 in 2002 at Watkins Glen when Jimmy Spencer did not qualify while Scott Pruett drove his normal car. The car was scheduled to run seven races with Jamie McMurray driving, but when McMurray filled in for Sterling Marlin, the team didn't run until 2003. When it raced full-time for the first time in 2003, McMurray drove the car with Texaco/Havoline as the sponsor. Despite winning Rookie of the Year honors, McMurray left after the 2005 season to replace Kurt Busch at Roush Racing. Casey Mears moved up to take his place during the 2006 season, but Mears also decided to leave Ganassi, replacing Brian Vickers at Hendrick Motorsports. In July 2006, it was announced that former Indianapolis 500, CART Champion, and at that time current F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya would replace Mears in the #42. Montoya won his first career Nextel Cup race at Infineon Raceway in the Toyota/Save Mart 350, ending a near five year victory drought the Chip Ganassi Racing organization had in the NEXTEL Cup Series (since the 2002 UAW-GM Quality 500, which was won by Jamie McMurray). He ended the year 20th in points and won Rookie of the Year. After he failed to return to victory lane and dropped to 25th in points despite some good results and a second place in the Aaron's 499 in 2008, Texaco/Havoline left the team, and the Target Corporation was named the new sponsor for 2009. In 2009, Montoya had a break out season, with seven top 5, eighteen top 10 and 2 poles. He qualified for the Chase for the Cup and finished eighth in the overall standings, the best season ending points position for Ganassi since Sterling Marlin's third place finish in the final standings in 2001. Midway through 2010, Montoya had sported great runs, but didn't have the finishes to show for it. Specifically at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where Montoya dominated, but his crew chief Brian Pattie called for four tires late in the race, causing Montoya to fall to 8th and never recover. A similar situation happened the following week at Pocono when Montoya was running second at a late stage in the race, and Pattie again called for four tires, placing Montoya back in traffic again. Montoya and Pattie were heard arguing over the radio. The next weekend however, Montoya won his second career race, dominating at Watkins Glen. Montoya ended up placing 17th in the overall standings for 2010. The 2011 season started off fast for the 42 bunch. Montoya posted a 6th in the season opener at Daytona, and then finished 3rd at the Las Vegas. After 3 of 36 races, Montoya is tied for 3rd in the Sprint Cup points.After 12 of 36 races in 2011 Juan Montoya is in 15 place in points after 30 place finish in Talladega after a late crash which the #39 car of Ryan Newman, and two weeks later in Richmond Newman and Juan Montoya get into two crashes where Montoya finish in 29 place and Newman in 20, then in Darlington Montoya finish 23 after a bad run, in Dover Montoya was running for the lead but after some vibration and a crash which #27 car of Paul Menard (Montoya finish 32), and two weeks later Montoya finish 12 place in Charlotte. Later at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Montoya had a great run and looked like he was going to fight Kurt Busch for the lead but crashed in an incident with Brad Keselowski near the end of the race and finished in 22nd. Montoya was inconsistent for the rest of the year with the exception of a 7th place finish at Watkins Glen on 08/14 and a 9th place finish 08/25 at the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The original #42 car was run by Nemechek with BellSouth sponsorship from his first year with the team until 2000. That year, Kenny Irwin, Jr. took over the car as Nemechek moved to Andy Petree Racing. After Irwin was killed in an accident at New Hampshire in July, the team was renumbered to #01 and Ted Musgrave took over. BellSouth's Cingular Wireless brand took over for 2001, as Chip Ganassi bought the team and switched everything over to Dodge. Jason Leffler was hired to drive the car, but he did not last beyond the 2001 season and neither did the sponsor, who moved over to Richard Childress Racing. Target, a long time Ganassi sponsor from the team's IndyCar days and an associate sponsor on Ganassi's #40 car, came aboard to sponsor the renumbered #41 for Jimmy Spencer for 2002. Spencer was released following the season and Casey Mears then took over the car. When Jamie McMurray left the Ganassi organization, Mears then moved to the #42 as Reed Sorenson took over the #41 and was later replaced by Juan Pablo Montoya. Upon the merger, the #41 team was disbanded in favor of keeping the #42 and Target remained as its sponsor.
On August 13, 2013, it was announced that Montoya's contract with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing would not be renewed for the 2014 season. On August 27, The Charlotte Observer reported that EHR driver development program driver Kyle Larson will replace Montoya in the #42.
Richard Childress Racing
Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies was formed in May 2007 as a cooperation between Dale Earnhardt Incorporated and Richard Childress Racing to develop and build common engines for the Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series teams campaigned by the two companies.
|Driver||Car No.||Years Active||Races||Wins||Poles||Top Five||Top Ten|
|Martin Truex Jr.||1||09||36||0||3||1||6|
|Jamie McMurray||1||10 - Present||140||4||6||15||27|
|Juan Pablo Montoya||42||09 - 13||176||1||9||19||49|
|Kyle Larson||42||14 - Present||0||0||0||0||0|
- "DEI and Chip Ganassi will merge next season to form Earnhardt Ganassi Racing – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
- "ESPN – Deal can't be reached to bring No. 8 to Junior's new team – Nascar". Sports.espn.go.com. 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
- Pockrass, Bob (August 13, 2013). "Juan Pablo Montoya won't race No. 42 next season". Sporting News. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- Spencer, Lee (August 27, 2013). "Report: Earnhardt Ganassi taps Larson". Fox Sports. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- "RCR & DEI to Build Engine Program Together". Richard Childress Racing. RCR PR. 2007-05-18. Retrieved 2007-07-28.
- "EGR switching from Earnhardt to Hendrick engines". Sports Illustrated. 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2012-11-01.