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Chip Ganassi

Chip Ganassi
Chip Ganassi at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2015
Born Floyd Ganassi, Jr
(1958-05-24) May 24, 1958
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

Floyd "Chip" Ganassi, Jr (born May 24, 1958) is a former American racing driver and a current team owner. 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.

He is currently the owner and CEO of Chip Ganassi Racing which operates teams on the IndyCar Series, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and Tudor United SportsCar Championship. His NASCAR operation was formerly under the banner Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, after a partnership with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. in 2009.


  • Racing driver 1
    • 1984 Michigan 500 1.1
  • Team owner 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Racing record 4
    • Career highlights 4.1
    • American open-wheel racing results 4.2
      • CART 4.2.1
      • Indianapolis 500 4.2.2
    • Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results 4.3
    • Complete 24 Hours of Daytona results 4.4
    • Complete 24 Hours of Spa results 4.5
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Racing driver

Ganassi attended the [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]

1984 Michigan 500

In the 1984 Michigan 500, Ganassi cut a tire and got into Al Unser Jr. on the backstretch. They drifted into the infield. Unser hit the inside guardrail nose-first, while Ganassi's car got airborne and slammed top-first into the guardrail with Ganassi's head hitting the rail. Ganassi's car disentigrated in midair. Ganassi suffered smoke inhalation, a concussion, a broken sternum and collarbone and many contusions. This effectively ended Ganassi's driving career.

Team owner

Ganassi purchased an interest in Patrick Racing in 1988 - a team he had raced with before in 1983 and 1984 - and was part of the team that saw

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Adrian Newey
John Bolster Lifetime Achievement Award
Succeeded by
Gian Paolo Dallara
Preceded by
Cameron R. Argetsinger Award
Succeeded by
  • Chip Ganassi driver statistics at Racing-Reference
  • Chip Ganassi owner statistics at Racing-Reference
  • Chip Ganassi Racing
  • Owner Ganassi gets past financial difficulties

External links

  1. ^ a b Vettraino, J.T. (September 17, 2012). "Inside His Mind".  
  2. ^ a b Wicker, Ned. IndyCar Champion - A Season with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, Motorbooks International, 1997, page 10
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l -of-CGRT.aspx
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Ken Wells, “Jaguar vs. Porsche – The Battle for Le Mans 1987" (William Kimberley Limited, ISBN 0 946132 43 7, 1987)
  9. ^ Chip Ganassi Racing
  10. ^ Teresa Earnhardt
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^ Wikinews:Chip Ganassi makes American motor sports history
  13. ^ a b
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Ganassi introduces new Ford GT Sports Car Program |". Retrieved 2015-07-03. 
  17. ^ Cain, Holly (2013-08-19). "Floyd Ganassi passes away at 87".  
  18. ^ Cavin, Curt (2013-08-19). "Chip Ganassi's father Floyd dies at age of 87".  
  19. ^ Wicker, Ned. IndyCar Champion - A Season with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, Motorbooks International, 1997, page 9
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Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1980 I.M.C. Toyota Emmanuel Remion
José Close
Toyota Corolla GT ser.T1.6 DNQ

Complete 24 Hours of Spa results

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

Complete 24 Hours of Daytona results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1987 Kouros Racing Johnny Dumfries
Mike Thackwell
Sauber-Mercedes C9 C1 37 DNF

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results

Indianapolis 500

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
NC -
1982 Rhoades Racing PHX1
PHX2 34th 10
1983 Patrick Racing ATL INDY
9th 56
1984 Patrick Racing LBH
1985 A.J. Foyt Enterprises LBH INDY
Machinists Union Racing MIS1
1986 Machinists Union Racing PHX1



American open-wheel racing results

Season Series Position Team Car
1981 Robert Bosch Formula Super Vee Championship [20][21] 6th March-Volkswagen 79/80SV
Ralt-Volkswagen RT5
1981-82 USAC Gold Crown Series [22][23] 37th First Commercial Corp. Wildcat-Cosworth
1982 PPG Indy Car World Series [24][25] 34th Rhoades Racing Wildcat-Cosworth
1982-83 USAC Gold Crown Series [26] 16th Patrick Racing Wildcat-Cosworth
1983 PPG Indy Car World Series [27][28] 9th Patrick Racing Wildcat-Cosworth
1983-84 USAC Gold Crown Series [29][30] 32nd Patrick Racing March-Cosworth 84C
1984 PPG Indy Car World Series [31][32] 20th Patrick Racing Wildcat-Cosworth
March-Cosworth 84C
1986 IMSA Camel Light Championship [33][34] 35th Spice Engineering Spice-Pontiac SE86CL

Career highlights

Racing record

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

He graduated with a degree in finance from Duquesne University in 1982.[19] He received an Honorary Doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University in 2011.

On August 19, 2013, Ganassi's father Floyd died at the age of 87.[17][18]

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.[13]

Personal life

In 2015, Ganassi announced that he would start a new Ford GT program in order to bring Ford back into the World Endurance Championship in 2016.[16]

Throughout Ganassi’s career as an owner, he has continued to the innovation bar with a constant search for a better way of doing things. He was one of the owners to create both highly successful driver and pit crew development programs; create an advanced research and development group that supports all of his race programs across the organisation; an in-depth information technology partnership with a number of his technology sponsors to best utilize their expertise in order to benefit the team.[11]

By any measure, Chip Ganassi Team have produces a host of remarkable achievements, to say nothing of the monumental success of 2010.

Along with success, Ganassi constantly changed things with his teams. The biggest change for 2014 was when he and Montoya parted ways after a remarkable partnership that produced a CART title, 10 CART race wins, Indianapolis 500 (IRL), 3 Rolex 24 at Daytona wins, a NASCAR Nationwide Series and two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins. As a result of all this, Ganassi 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]

Just one month later, CGR won their fourth Rolex 24 at Daytona. Now Ganassi had won all four of America’s premier races within a 12-month period, finishing off the “Grand Slam”, becoming the first owner to hold all four titles at one time. By the end of the year, CGR had retained both the IndyCar and Grand-Am titles. 2012 would see 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”, his with ranking of 17th being highest North American from the racing industry. 2013 would see the team’s fifth Rolex 24 win, however the IndyCar and NASCAR team would struggle early on. Following the team’s return to form to finish one-two-three in the 2013 Pocono IndyCar 400, Dixon would go on to clinched his third title – not before Franchitti’s terrifying career-ending crash at the Grand Prix of Houston [3][13]

On February 14, 2010, McMurray won the Homestead toc clinch the team’s eight title. 2010 would prove to be Ganassi most successful season, with two titles, two major victories at Daytona and Indianapolis, and a total of 19 wins across IndyCar, stock and sport cars. Small wonder Chip won the John Bolster Lifetime Achievement Award at the Autosport Awards.[3][12]

Seldom one to go the conventional route, Ganassi signed the driver beat Dixon to the 2007 IndyCar title, Dario Franchitti for the ’08 campaign, however, the Scotsman was signed to join Montoya in NASCAR. Although Franchitti would form part of CGR’s third Rolex 24 at Daytona win, alongside Pruett, Montoya and Memo Rojas, his NASCAR experiment was an unmitigated disaster, and he was switched into the IndyCar squad for ’09, leading the team to a one-two finish in the end of year standings, after he and Dixon took five wins apiece. As for NASCAR, following the merger with Earnhardt, the team switched to Chevrolets.[3]

With Ganassi, nothing even stood still for long. On the IRL front, 2006 saw CGR switched to a Dallara chassis, with a return to Honda power, coupled with the defending champion, Dan Wheldon joining Dixon. By mid-season, Ganassi pulled another shocker, he announced the return of Montoya, to spearhead the NASCAR program. The Colombian wasted no time paying Ganassi back. He’d joined Pruett and Salvador Durán to retain the Rolex 24 at Daytona crown, and winning his first NASCAR victory at Sonoma in the middle of 2007.[3]

In CGRFS’s first season in the Winston Cup Series, Sterling Marlin drove his Dodge Intrepid to victory lane at Michigan and Charlotte, then led championship for most in 2002 before suffering a season-ending injury. Still Ganassi kept change coming, at a dizzy pace, first added a third Dodge entry in the Winston Cup. Chip was aware the major change in happening in Indycar, so CGR and Toyota shifted their focus from CART to IRL for 2003, winning the series in their first full season with Scott Dixon, scoring three wins. While in stock cars, Ganassi became the first owner to have three drivers claim “Rookie of the Year” honours in the same season, with Jamie McMurray in the Cup Series, David Stremme in the Busch Series and Reed Sorenson in the ASA Series. New for 2004, Ganassi and Sabates entered Grand-Am’s Rolex Sports Car Series with a Riley Daytona Prototype for Scott Pruett and Max Papis, who stormed to the title before capturing Ganassi’s first Rolex 24 at Daytona triumph, the following January.[3][11]

The NASCAR and Sportscar division of the team was formed in 2001, when Ganassi bought the majority shareholder in Felix Sabates’ Team SABCO racing team. The team was re-christened Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS). During 2008, Ganassi formed a partnership with Dale Earnhardt, Inc., merging their NASCAR operations in one outfit, co-owned by Ganassi, Sabates and Teresa Earnhardt, and raced under the name, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. However, in 2014, the partnership was absorbed by Ganassi and the team’s name reverted to Chip Ganassi Racing. When Ganassi was asked why the team released her, he replied "Teresa was a good partner but she was no longer there. So I just bought her share of the team and reverted the name." Sabates is not connected to the IndyCar team.[9][10]

Complacency is not a word one would label against Ganassi. He proved this once again, by switching from Honda to Toyota power, while changing to Lola chassis for the start of 2000. Despite the split between CART and the Indy Racing League, which effective prevented Ganassi from racing at Indianapolis since 1995, he formed a parallel program with just one aim, to win the Indy 500. This was an unqualified success, with Montoya winning the team’s first Indianapolis 500, and Ganassi’s second as team owner.[3]

The changes to the team in 1996, enabled CGR to form one of the most celebrated partnership in motorsport. After winning four of the opening six races of the [4]

It wasn’t until the 1994 Australian FAI Indycar Grand Prix that Andretti scored the team’s first victory, fully four seasons after their CART debut. Once Chip and his team tasted success, there’s been no looking back, as the team trophy cases in their race shop facilities in Indianapolis, Brownsburg and Concord are full with the spoils of victories and championships from Daytona to Indianapolis, CART to NASCAR, IMSA and Grand-Am.[3]

Although the team were winless in the first three years of competition, those season were not without their highlights – Reynard, bring the English chassis-manufacturer into Indycar racing. More changes for ’95, when Ganassi switched tyre supplier from Goodyear to Firestone, as well as Ford to Honda engines; and for ’96 he hired two new drivers, a young promising American driver, Jimmy Vasser and relatively unknown Italian, Alessandro Zanardi.[3]


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