Chip Ganassi

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Chip Ganassi
Chip Ganassi - Carb Day 2015 - Stierch.jpg
Ganassi at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2015
Born Floyd Ganassi, Jr.
(1958-05-24) May 24, 1958 (age 58)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Residence Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania
Other names Chip Ganassi
Education B.A. Finance
Alma mater Duquesne University
Occupation Owner and CEO, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Years active 1990–present
Employer Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Home town Pittsburgh
Website ChipGanassiRacing.com

Floyd "Chip" Ganassi, Jr (born May 24, 1958) is a former American racing driver, current team owner and member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. He has been involved with the North American auto racing scene for over 30 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners ever. He is the only team owner in history to have won the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and most recently the 24 Hours of Le Mans - six of the seven biggest races in the world.

He is currently the owner and CEO of Chip Ganassi Racing which operates teams in the IndyCar Series, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and Tudor United SportsCar Championship, World Endurance Championship and in Global Rally Cross. Overall, he runs 14 cars with 18 drivers across six different touring Series.

Racing driver[edit]

Ganassi attended the Bob Bondurant Driving School in 1977. He won his first auto race in a Formula Ford at the age of 18. He began his CART (Champ Car) racing career in 1982 upon graduating from Duquesne. Though a broken camshaft kept him from completing his first CART race at Phoenix, Ganassi qualified with the fastest speed, 197 mph, and competed in the Indianapolis 500 five times, with a best finish of 8th in 1983. He was voted the Most Improved Driver in 1983, and took 9th position in the CART standing. During that season, he took Patrick Racing’s Wildcat onto the podium twice, the first at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, then again at Laguna Seca. The following season, he would go on and finish a career best second in to 1984 Budweiser Grand Prix of Cleveland, however, his career was cut short in his next race, by a big crash that injured him at Michigan.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Although he returned to race briefly in CART and IMSA in 1986. It was in the 1986 Kodak Copies 500 at Watkins Glen that Ganassi scored his top sportscar result, taking the Camel Light class victory, with his race partner, Bob Earl (7th overall). He also recorded a seventh-place finish a month early in the Löwenbräu Classic, at Road America, assisted by David Sears. Both times driving for Spice Engineering, in one for their Spice-Pontiac SE86CL. In what was to be his last international race outing, Ganassi was entered into the 1987 24 Hours of Le Mans, as a member of the Kouros Racing. One of his team mates for the event, Johnny Dumfries set the fastest lap of race prior to be handing the car over to Ganassi upon whom the gearbox broke.[7][8]


Team owner[edit]

Ganassi and Lorin Ranier at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2014
Main article: Chip Ganassi Racing

1988-89 - Purchased an interest in Patrick Racing in 1988 – a team he had raced with before in 1983 and 1984 – the team saw Emerson Fittipaldi win the 1989 Indianapolis 500 and CART PPG Indy Car World Series.

1990 - Formed his own CART team, Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) with Target as the primary sponsor and with Eddie Cheever behind the wheel.

1994 – Wins team’s first race with Michael Andretti behind the wheel in Australia.

1996 - Hired two new drivers, a young promising American driver, Jimmy Vasser and relatively unknown Italian, Alessandro Zanardi.[3] Vassar would go on to win Ganassi’s first title after winning four of the Opening six races of the 1996 PPG Indy Car World Series season,

1997-98 – Zanardi brings home Ganassi’s second and third consecutive championships.

1999 - Juan Pablo Montoya, who won in only his third CART start would add six more victories as he claimed the 1999 CART title, CGR’s fourth consecutive championship.[3][4]

2000 - Montoya wins the team’s first Indianapolis 500, and Ganassi’s second as team owner.[3]

2001 – Ganassi launched his first NASCAR team with partner Felix Sabates and Sterling Marlin drove his Dodge Intrepid to victory lane at Michigan and Charlotte, then led the championship for most in 2002 before suffering a season-ending injury.

2003 – Wins IndyCar Series with a young Kiwi Scott Dixon, after he scored three wins.

2004 - Ganassi and Sabates entered Rolex Sports Car Series with a Daytona Prototype for Scott Pruett and Max Papis, who stormed to the title.

2006 – Ganassi wins the first of his record six Rolex 24 at Daytonas with drivers Dan Wheldon, Scott Dixon and Casey Mears. Defending IndyCar Series champion, Dan Wheldon joins Dixon on the team. By mid-season, Ganassi pulled another shocker, he announced the return of Montoya, to spearhead the NASCAR program beginning in 2007.

2007 - Montoya joined Pruett and Salvador Durán to retain the Rolex 24 at Daytona crown, and won his first NASCAR event in the XFINITY race in Mexico City.[3]

2008 - Hired 2007 IndyCar champion, Dario Franchitti for the ’08 campaign, however, the Scotsman was signed to join Montoya in NASCAR. Franchitti would form part of CGR’s third Rolex 24 at Daytona win, alongside Pruett, Montoya and Memo Rojas,

2009 – Franchitti switched back to the IndyCar Series for ’09, leading the team to a one-two finish in the end of year standings, after he and Dixon took five wins apiece.

2010 - McMurray wins the Daytona 500 and a few months later, Franchitti wins the Indianapolis 500, making Ganassi the first owner to win both races in the same year and joining Roger Penske as the only owners to win both races. McMurray would go on to win the Brickyard 400, making Ganassi the first owner to win the "Triple Crown" of American auto racing. Pruett and Rojas reeled off nine wins in a dozen starts in Grand-Am, and claimed a fourth title. The Ganassi organization scored another “double" when McMurray won at Charlotte just hours before Franchitti’s victory in the IndyCar finale at Homestead to clinch the team’s eighth indyCar Series title. It was Ganassi’s most successful season, with two titles, victories in Daytona and Indianapolis, and a total of 19 wins across IndyCar, NASCAR and sport cars

2011 - Rolex Sports Car Series team won the fourth 24 Hours at Daytona, making Ganassi the first owner ever to win the Daytona 500, the Indy 500, the Brickyard 400, and the 24 Hours at Daytona inside a 12 months period. Ganassi becomes the first owner to hold all four titles at one time. By the end of the year, CGR had retained both the IndyCar Series and Grand-Am titles.

2012 - Pruett and Rojas scored their third-straight Grand-Am title (CGR’s sixth overall), while Franchitti added another Indy 500 title. 2012 also saw Chip being named by Complex Magazine as one of the “50 most influential people in the Auto Industry”.

2013 - Would see the team’s fifth Rolex 24 win. Dixon would go on to win his third title. Kyle Larson wins the NASCAR XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year.

2014 – Promotes Larson to the No. 42 Target Chevrolet. Ganassi also wins the 12 Hours of Sebring in his first attempt. He was awarded the inaugural Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for his contributions to motorsports by the NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and Watkins Glen International.[3][14][15]

2015 – McMurray, Larson, Tony Kanaan and Dixon win the team’s sixth Rolex 24 at Daytona. Dixon wins his fourth IndyCar Series Championship.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Ganassi was formerly a vice president of FRG Group, his father's organization involved in commercial real estate, transportation and other areas.[1] In addition to his racing interests, he is also a former minority owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates major league baseball team. Ganassi is a strong supporter of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, to which his teams have donated over US$500,000.[9]

He graduated with a degree in finance from Duquesne University in 1982.[10] He received an Honorary Doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University in 2011.

He currently resides in the Pittsburgh suburb of Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania.

Racing record[edit]

Career highlights[edit]

Season Series Position Team Car
1981 Robert Bosch Formula Super Vee Championship [11][12] 6th March-Volkswagen 79/80SV
Ralt-Volkswagen RT5
1981-82 USAC Gold Crown Series [13][14] 37th First Commercial Corp. Wildcat-Cosworth
1982 PPG Indy Car World Series [15][16] 34th Rhoades Racing Wildcat-Cosworth
1982-83 USAC Gold Crown Series [17] 16th Patrick Racing Wildcat-Cosworth
1983 PPG Indy Car World Series [18][19] 9th Patrick Racing Wildcat-Cosworth
1983-84 USAC Gold Crown Series [20][21] 32nd Patrick Racing March-Cosworth 84C
1984 PPG Indy Car World Series [22][23] 20th Patrick Racing Wildcat-Cosworth
March-Cosworth 84C
1986 IMSA Camel Light Championship [24][25] 35th Spice Engineering Spice-Pontiac SE86CL

American open-wheel racing results[edit]

(key)

CART[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Rank Points
1981 Brayton Racing PHX1
MIL1
ATL1
ATL2
MIS
RIV
MIL2
MIS2
WGL
MEX
PHX2
DNQ
NC -
1982 Rhoades Racing PHX1
Ret
ATL MIL1 CLE
Ret
MIS1
Ret
MIL2 POC
Ret
RIV ROA MIS2
16
PHX2 34th 10
1983 Patrick Racing ATL INDY
8
MIL CLE
Ret
MIS1
8
ROA
Ret
POC
Ret
RIV MDO
Ret
MIS2
6
LVG
3
LS
3
PHX
5
9th 56
1984 Patrick Racing LBH
Ret
PHX1
11
INDY
Ret
MIL
11
POR
Ret
MEA
9
CLE
2
MIS1
Ret
ROA POC MDO SAN MIS2 PHX2 LS LVG 20th 24
1985 A.J. Foyt Enterprises LBH INDY
Ret
MIL POR MEA CLE 51st 0
Machinists Union Racing MIS1
Ret
ROA POC MDO SAN MIS2 LS PHX MIA
1986 Machinists Union Racing PHX1
14
LBH INDY
Ret
MIL POR MEA CLE TOR MIS1 POC MDO SAN MIS2 ROA LS PHX2 MIA 43rd 0

Indianapolis 500[edit]

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1987 Switzerland Kouros Racing United Kingdom Johnny Dumfries
New Zealand Mike Thackwell
Sauber-Mercedes C9 C1 37 DNF
(Gearbox)

Complete 24 Hours of Daytona results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1986 United States RC Buick Hawk/Conte United States John Paul, Jr.
Italy Ivan Capelli
United States Whitney Ganz
March-Buick 85G GTP 310 DNF
(Engine)

Complete 24 Hours of Spa results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1980 Belgium I.M.C. Toyota Belgium Emmanuel Remion
Belgium José Close
Toyota Corolla GT ser.T1.6 DNQ

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Vettraino, J.T. (September 17, 2012). "Inside His Mind". Autoweek. 62 (19): 70–75. 
  2. ^ Wicker, Ned. IndyCar Champion - A Season with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, Motorbooks International, 1997, page 10
  3. ^ http://www.chipganassiracing.com/About-CGRT/History -of-CGRT.aspx
  4. ^ http://www.niashf.org/inductees/chip-ganassi/
  5. ^ http://www.racing-reference.info/drivdet/ganasch01/1983/R/
  6. ^ http://www.racing-reference.info/drivdet/ganasch01/1983/R
  7. ^ http://www.racingsportscars.com/drivers/archive/Chip-Ganassi-USA.html
  8. ^ Ken Wells, “Jaguar vs. Porsche – The Battle for Le Mans 1987" (William Kimberley Limited, ISBN 0 946132 43 7, 1987)
  9. ^ http://www.chipganassiracing.com/About-CGRT/Chip-Ganassi.aspx
  10. ^ Wicker, Ned. IndyCar Champion - A Season with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, Motorbooks International, 1997, page 9
  11. ^ https://www.driverdb.com/championships/standings/formula-super-vee-usa-robert-bosch-valvoline-championship/1981/
  12. ^ http://www.teamdan.com/archive/www2/superv/81svrob.html
  13. ^ http://racing-reference.info/yeardet/1981/UO
  14. ^ https://www.driverdb.com/championships/standings/usac-national-championship/1982/
  15. ^ http://racing-reference.info/yeardet/1982/R
  16. ^ https://www.driverdb.com/championships/standings/champ-car-world-series/1982/
  17. ^ http://racing-reference.info/yeardet/1982/UO
  18. ^ http://racing-reference.info/yeardet/1983/R
  19. ^ https://www.driverdb.com/championships/standings/champ-car-world-series/1983/
  20. ^ http://racing-reference.info/yeardet/1983/UO
  21. ^ https://www.driverdb.com/championships/standings/usac-national-championship/1984/
  22. ^ http://racing-reference.info/yeardet/1984/R
  23. ^ https://www.driverdb.com/championships/standings/champ-car-world-series/1984/
  24. ^ http://www.champcarstats.com/atlantic/year/1995.htm
  25. ^ https://www.driverdb.com/championships/standings/imsa-camel-lights/1986/

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Adrian Newey
John Bolster Lifetime Achievement Award
2010
Succeeded by
Gian Paolo Dallara
Preceded by
n/a
Cameron R. Argetsinger Award
2014
Succeeded by
n/a