|Owner(s) Name(s)||Chip Ganassi, Felix Sabates|
|Racing Series||IRL IndyCar Series, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series
ARCA RE/MAX Series
|Number of Championships||4 (Champ Car), 2 (IRL), 1 (Grand-Am)|
|Car Number(s)||#9 (Indy Car)
#10 (Indy Car)
Scott Dixon (#9-Indy Car)
Dario Franchitti (#10-Indy Car)
Scott Pruett (#01-Grand-Am)
Memo Rojas (#01-Grand-Am)
|Primary Sponsor(s)||Target (9, 10-IRL)
Waste Management (#02-Grand-Am)
|Shop Location||Concord, North Carolina (NASCAR)
Indianapolis, Indiana (all others)
|Homepage||Chip Ganassi Racing|
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates is an automotive racing organization with teams competing in the IndyCar Series and Rolex Sports Car Series. It is owned by businessmen Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates. From 2001-2008 the team also fielded teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after Ganassi bought a majority stake in Sabates' Team SABCO Racing.
On November 12, 2008, CGRWFS announced they would merge their NASCAR operation with that of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and do business as Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Ganassi's cars will switch to Chevrolet (with permission from Dodge Motorsports) and the #42 car will become part of the combined team with DEI's #1.
The NASCAR operation was formed in 1989 by Felix Sabates, a Cuban immigrant who was a self-made millionaire in products such as Teddy Ruxpin. The team was known as Team SABCO or SABCO Racing. In 2001, Ganassi bought 80% of the ownership interest in the team, the same year the team switched from Chevy to Dodge. However, Sabates plans to give his 20% interest back to Ganassi during the 2012 season.
1.The #39 car was often a R&D car for CGN. It debuted in 2003 at Watkins Glen with Scott Pruett driving, starting 28th and finishing 2nd. Pruett and the car reappeared in 2004 and 2005 at Infineon, where Pruett finished 3rd and 31st, respectively. He also attempted The Glen, but he failed to qualify both years. In 2005, former champion Bill Elliott drove the car with Coors sponsorship at the Bud Shootout when his regular ride was unavailable. David Stremme then drove seven races in preparation for his bid in 2006 for NASCAR Rookie of the Year. Casey Mears was originally going to drive this car full-time in 2006 with sponsorship from Home123, but it was later announced he would drive the #42 car instead. Home123 then terminated its contract with CGN. In late 2006, Montoya made his Cup debut at the Ford 400 in the #30, but failing to finish after being wrecked late in the race.
The #40 car debuted in 1993 as the 2nd car in the SABCO stable. It had sponsorship from Dirt Devil and was piloted by rookie driver Kenny Wallace. After Wallace finished 3rd behind Bobby Labonte and Jeff Gordon in the NASCAR Rookie of the Year standings, he left for other opportunities. Bobby Hamilton drove the car the next season with sponsorship from Kendall Motor Oil, during which the #40 car was bought by Dick Brooks. Hamilton finished 23rd in points that year. The 1995 season saw multiple drivers such as Rich Bickle, Greg Sacks, and Shane Hall pilot the car. But at the end of the year, Brooks closed up shop and sold the team back to Sabates. The team came back in 1996 with First Union sponsoring the car and Greg Sacks driving. Returning full-time the next year with rookie driver Robby Gordon driving and Coors Light paying the bills and while the team switched from Pontiac to Chevy, things looked promising when Gordon won the pole at the spring Atlanta race. Unfortunately, open-wheel ace Gordon suffered burns during the Indianapolis 500. By the time he came back, the damage was done, and despite picking up a top-5 at Watkins Glen, Gordon was released. Sacks returned to finish out the year.
For 1998, Sabates chose a more experienced driver in 2-time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin. Marlin did not qualify at the spring Atlanta race, one year after the team won the pole position there, marking the first time since 1986 Marlin missed a Winston Cup race. At the end of the year, Marlin had 6 top-10's and was 18th in points. Marlin showed a brief insurgence in 1999 when he won the pole at Pocono, but the mediocrity continued, and it looked like Marlin's best days were behind him. In 2001, the car got a new silver-red paint scheme, a manufacturer switch to Dodge, a new crew chief in Lee McCall, and a new owner in Ganassi. Marlin made an impression by winning his qualifying race for the Daytona 500, but the euphoria soon vaporized. On the last lap of the 500, Marlin's car and Dale Earnhardt's car touched, causing the 7-time champion to lose control and crash into the wall, killing him. Out of anger and grief, fans sent hate mail and death threats to Marlin and his wife, claiming he was responsible for the death of Dale Earnhardt. They only ceased when Earnhardt's drivers Dale Jr. and Michael Waltrip publicly defended Marlin. Marlin was able to rise above the controversy, and gave Dodge its first win since its return to NASCAR at Michigan, and finished 3rd in points. Marlin led the points standings for most of 2002, but broke his neck at Kansas Speedway, ending his season. Some say that Sterling's injury signified the beginning of the struggles for CGRFS. Jamie McMurray, scheduled to drive the #42 car the following season, filled in for Marlin. At Lowe's Motor Speedway, McMurray beat out Bobby Labonte to win his first race in just his second Winston Cup start. The emotional victory was capped off with a phone call from Marlin through the television network congratulating McMurray on his victory. Since then, Marlin has not won a race, and rookie David Stremme replaced Marlin in 2006. This move outraged some fans, since Coors and Ganassi both stated that the decision was partly due to Coors attempting to target the younger demographic. Stremme did not finish higher than 11th and had a 33rd-place finish in the points.
Before the 2007 season started, Lone Star left the 40 team as primary sponsor, leaving only Coors Light. After the beginning of the season, Tums also came on as a sponsor of the 40 team. Stremme had a much better start to the season, earning his first top ten in the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, posting his best career finish, 8th, two weeks later in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, and ended the season with three top-tens. Stremme was released due to Coors Light's departure to become the official beer of NASCAR. On October 3, 2007 Indianapolis 500 winner and IndyCar Series Champion Dario Franchitti was announced as the new driver of the #40 car for 2008. Due to the lack of sponsorship, the team had to procure one-race partnerships on a rotational basis, with The Hartford, Kennametal, Dodge Journey, Target, Dodge Avenger, and the Wii Fit appearing on the car. Franchitti also suffered ankle injuries in a Nationwide Series race at Talladega, causing him to miss several races. Marlin, Stremme, and Jeremy Mayfield filled in during his absence.
Ganassi shut down the team due to its lack of funding midseason and moved Franchitti to its IndyCar operation. The team was revived for the Bank of America 500 with Bryan Clauson driving, but race qualifying was rained out and the team did not make the field due to being too low in the owner points.
What is now the #34 car debuted in 1989 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, as the #42 Peak Antifreeze Pontiac for Team SABCO, Felix Sabates' race team. The car was driven by Kyle Petty, who finished 4th. The car ran on and off for the rest of the year before moving to full-time status in 1990. Petty won one race and finished 11th in points that year. Petty was running strong in 1991 with new sponsorship from Mello Yello, before he broke his leg in an accident at Talladega Superspeedway. He was replaced by Bobby Hillin, Jr., Tommy Kendall, and Kenny Wallace while he recovered. After returning, he won five races finished 5th in points in both 1992 and 1993.
After that, his career began to run out of steam, as he began to be less consistent in finishing races.. He won his final race in 1995 at Dover, the first year the car had Coors Light as a sponsor. In 1996, Petty was temporarily replaced by Jim Sauter to recover from more injuries. After that year, Petty and Sabates split and Coors moved to the #40 car. The team switched from Pontiac to Chevy. Joe Nemechek and BellSouth came onboard. The year got off to a rocky start when Nemechek did not qualify for the Daytona 500, but was able to get in on a car bought from Phil Barkdoll. After losing his brother John in an accident at Homestead-Miami Speedway (and missing Darlington to attend his funeral, during which he was replaced by Phil Parsons), Nemechek won two pole positions and finished 28th in points, followed up by a then-career best 26th in 1998. Weeks after announcing that they would not race together after the 1999 season had ended, Nemechek won his first Winston Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway, and won two more pole positions.
In 2000, Kenny Irwin Jr. took over. He was just adjusting to his new team when he was killed in a practice accident at New Hampshire, the first race since the team won there the previous year. The team took one week off and returned as #01 driven by Ted Musgrave. For 2001, Chip Ganassi purchased a majority stake in SABCO, the BellSouth brand Cingular became the sponsor and rookie driver Jason Leffler was hired to drive the car, which was now a Dodge. Leffler struggled despite winning a pole at the inaugural race at Kansas Speedway, and he was released at the end of the season. When Cingular moved to Richard Childress Racing to sponsor the #31 car, Target became the sponsor, the number was changed to #41, and Jimmy Spencer was tabbed to replace Leffler. Spencer did not qualify for the Daytona 500, and was replaced by Scott Pruett at Watkins Glen, then was released. Casey Mears, a Busch Series driver was hired to drive the car. After three seasons, Reed Sorenson was hired to drive the #41 car full time, and Mears switched to the #42 car. Sorenson had five top-tens and ended the 2006 season 24th in the standings.
After finishing 22nd in the standings with three top 5s and 6 top 10s in 2007, the #41 team dropped to 32nd in the final standings in 2008. Sorenson failed to qualify for a race for the first time in his career, and the team only managed one top five and two top tens. Sorenson left the team to drive for Gillett Evernham Motorsports, and as of December 16, 2008 EGR has not named a replacement. On January 11, 2009, ESPN.com reported that Juan Pablo Montoya, the driver of the #42 EGR entry, was considered for the seat due to its full-time sponsorship, which is one of only two that EGR has. However, EGR decided to move the Target sponsorship to Montoya's #42, leaving the #41 without a driver or a sponsor. The number was then assigned to Jeremy Mayfield's new NASCAR Sprint Cup team and taken out of the EGR stable. As part of the aforementioned cooperative agreement with Front Row Motorsports the points from the #15 team were transferred to the #34.
CGRWFS began running the Nationwide Series in 2000, fielding two full-time and one part-time. The part-time team was the #42 BellSouth Chevrolet driven by Irwin and had raced nine times with Irwin finishing in the top-ten twice before Irwin was killed at New Hampshire. Like Irwin's Cup team, the number was switched to 01, and Marlin became the new driver. He raced three races in the 01, finishing in the top-ten twice. Blaise Alexander drove the #81 Tracfone/WCW Chevy full-time in 2000, and had two top-tens and finished 25th in points, despite failing to qualify for the season-opening race. Dave Steele was hired by SABCO to drive the #82 Channellock Chevy full-time, but after failing to qualify for three out of the first five races, he was released. Sterling Marlin won in the next race in the 82, while Jeff Fuller failed to qualify in his attempt in the car the following week at Texas. After Derek Gilcrest drove for a pair of races, Glenn Allen, Jr. drove for the next five races, not finishing better than 29th. Jason White drove for two short track races, followed by Anthony Lazzaro at Watkins Glen, Andy Houston at Milwaukee, and Austin Cameron at Nazareth and Pikes Peak. Ted Musgrave then signed on for the next eight races, finishing eighth at Lowe's. Marty Houston finished the season in the 82, with a best finish of 14th. At the end of the 2000 season, SABCO's Busch equipment was sold to HighLine Performance Group.
The 40 car debuted in 2006 as the #42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge. Casey Mears drove nine races and won his first career race at Chicagoland Speedway. Juan Pablo Montoya drove the last four races of the year, posting an eleventh place finish in his series debut at Memphis. He drove seventeen races the next season, and won his first race at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez and had three top-tens. Kevin Hamlin also made seven starts, including two consecutive top-tens. After Michael Valiante drove at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and David Stremme at Bristol, it was announced the 42 team would shut down effective immediately, but that decision and was rescinded and A. J. Allmendinger was named driver for the next five races, but he failed to finish higher than 14th. Dario Franchitti finished out the year with Target sponsorship, qualifying in the top-ten twice.
For 2008, rookies Franchitti and Bryan Clauson were hired to split the driving duties of the newly-renumbered #40 car, with sponsorship coming from Fastenal. Late in the season, Clauson took over the car permanently.
In December 2008, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing announced that they had closed the #40 team down, due to a lack of sponsorship. The remnants of this team were purchased by businessman Eddie Smith and professional boxer Evander Holyfield in February 2009 and will run under the name Smith-Ganassi Racing with Kenny Hendrick.
The 41 car began racing at the 2004 Kroger 200, when Reed Sorenson made his NASCAR debut with sponsorship coming Discount Tire Company. He qualified third and finished thirteenth. For the rest of the season, Sorenson, Casey Mears, and Jamie McMurray ran limited schedules in the 41, with McMurray picking up a win at Phoenix. In 2005, Sorenson drove full-time, picking up two wins and finishing fourth in points. He drove most of the 2006 season, except the AT&T 250, where David Stremme finished eleventh in his place. After Sorenson's tenth-place points finish, Discount Tire left for Roush Fenway Racing and Wrigley's became the new sponsor. Sorenson and Stremme shared the 41 for most of the season, with Sorenson winning at Gateway. Bryan Clauson came on board with Memorex sponsorship then drove for five races with a best finish of eighteenth, before A.J. Allmendinger finished out the season in the 41. Bryan Clauson began the season in the 41 with Polaroid sponsorship, before Kyle Krisiloff drove for a few races. The team stopped running after the spring Talladega race.
On November 12, 2008 Chip Ganassi along with Teresa Earnhardt, widow of Dale Earnhardt, the seven-time NASCAR champion and namesake of their own NASCAR team, announced that the two teams would merge in time for the 2009 season and run under the name of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. The team will field Chevrolets in all series for three drivers - the #1 Bass Pro Shops car driven by Martin Truex, Jr. and the #8 car of Aric Almirola from the DEI stable and the #42 car Juan Pablo Montoya from Target Ganassi's stable. Nascar has transferred the 41 to Jeremy Mayfield, and will not be associated with EGR, instead will be associated with All Sport and Big Red.
In 1989, Chip Ganassi, who had driven in the IndyCar World Series, 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 re-started 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 Gannasi 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 Emerson 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 the previous year. He scored Ganassi's first IndyCar victory at Surfers Paradise.
Target continued to sponsor Ganassi's operation through the decade, and by the mid part of the decade, the team had risen to the top of the series. Perhaps the most impressive was Juan Pablo Montoya winning the championship in his rookie season in 1999. They won four consecutive series championships, with Jimmy Vasser (1996), Alex Zanardi (1997-1998), and Montoya in 1999. In 2000, Ganassi became the first CART team to break ranks and return to race in the Indianapolis 500, part of the rival Indy Racing League. The team saw instant success as Juan Pablo Montoya dominated the race. Montoya also became the first driver to win the Indianapolis 500 and the Michigan 500 in the same year since Rick Mears in 1991. However, he was unable to duplicate his championship success of 1999. 1996 champion Jimmy Vasser's performance steadily dwindled, as his lone victory at Houston was his first in nearly two years.
The team ran from 1992 to 2002 before moving into the rival Indy Racing League full-time. They had run one IRL entry for former motocross racer Jeff Ward in 2002, in which Ward won one race at Texas in one of the closest finishes in IRL history. In their prime in CART, driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing was viewed as the final proving ground for much of the top talent before moving onto Formula One.
Chip Ganassi Racing initially raced in the IRL with Juan Pablo Montoya and Jimmy Vasser in the 2000 Indy 500 won by rookie Montoya. In 2001 they returned to Indy with Vasser, Bruno Junqueira, Nicolas Minassian, and NASCAR's Tony Stewart, who would also compete in that evening's Coca-Cola 600. But in neither year did they run the entire IndyCar Series season.
For 2002, Ganassi made the jump to the IndyCar Series full-time with Jeff Ward driving one car, with the addition of Ganassi's two CART Championship drivers Kenny Bräck and Bruno Junqueira at Indianapolis. None of those three would drive for Ganassi in 2003; the replacements were Scott Dixon (a midseason addition to Ganassi's Champ Car team in 2002) and Tomas Scheckter. Dixon won three races and the series championship while Scheckter struggled and was released from his contract. Tony Renna was to replace him, but had a tragic testing crash at Indianapolis that claimed his life. Englishman Darren Manning wound up in the seat for 2004. The team's performance suffered the next two seasons and when Manning was fired, a bevy of drivers ran in Ganassi's cars, among them former Formula One test drivers Ryan Briscoe and Giorgio Pantano, and Jaques Lazier. For 2006, Target Ganassi Racing scaled back to two cars, with Dixon returning along with 2005 Indianapolis 500 Champion Dan Wheldon, whom Ganassi signed away from Andretti Green Racing in the offseason. The team also changed to Honda engines (along with all other IndyCar teams) and Dallara chassis for 2006.
The 2007 IndyCar Series season showed promise for the Chip Ganassi Racing team, as Scott Dixon took 4 wins at Watkins Glen, Nashville, Mid Ohio, and Infineon Raceway and Dan Wheldon took 2 additional wins at Homestead and Kansas. The 2008 IndyCar season was even stronger for the Chip Ganassi Racing team with eventual champion Scott Dixon taking wins at Homestead, Indianapolis, Texas, Nashville, Edmonton, and Kentucky, and teammate Dan Wheldon finishing 4th overall after winning again at Kansas and Iowa. Shortly before the conclusion of the season it was announced that Wheldon would not return as Dixon's teammate in 2009, a role taken by 2007 IndyCar Champion and Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti of Scotland. Franchitti teamed with Dixon for the non-championship race at Surfer's Paradise at the end of 2008.
On December 20, 2006, Chip Ganassi Racing announced that it would field an Indy Lights team for the first time in 2007, with drivers Chris Festa and Pablo Pérez. Perez was severely injured in a crash in the opening race of the Indy Lights season and was not replaced. Festa finished 10th in points without winning a race in a season dominated by Alex Lloyd who was signed by Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of the season. The team partnered with Integra Motorsports in 2007 and 2008 fielding a variety of development drivers, notably New Zealanders Marc Williams and Jonny Reid.
Target Chip Ganassi Racing also runs a Daytona Prototype team in the Rolex Grand-Am series fielding a Lexus-Riley car driven by Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz. Their second team car won the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona driven by Ganassi IRL drivers Dan Wheldon and Scott Dixon along with NASCAR driver Casey Mears. In 2007, Ganassi won the race again, this time with Pruett, former Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya, and Salvador Duran, making him the first owner to win it in back to back years since Al Holbert in 1986-87. In 2008 Chip Ganassi Racing won a third Daytona 24 in a row. Also in 2008, Chip Ganassi Racing won their 3rd Grand-Am Championship, with drivers Scott Pruett, and Memo Rojas. Scott Pruett's 8th Road Racing Championship. Also participating was Memo Rojas, the first Mexican to win a major Road Racing title in North America.
The Chip Ganassi Racing fleet includes the following aircraft types (at November 2009):
|Target Chip Ganassi Racing|
|IRL Drivers||Scott Dixon (#9) | Dario Franchitti (#10)|
|Grand-Am Telmex #01 team drivers||Scott Pruett | Memo Rojas|
|Grand-Am Waste Management #02 team drivers||Scott Speed | Kyle Busch|
|Other||Chip Ganassi | Felix Sabates | Earnhardt Ganassi Racing | Target Corporation|
|Dale Earnhardt, Inc.|
|Earnhardt family||Dale Earnhardt | Teresa Earnhardt | Dale Earnhardt, Jr. | Kerry Earnhardt | Jeffrey Earnhardt|
|Winning drivers||Steve Park | Dale Earnhardt, Jr. | Michael Waltrip | Martin Truex, Jr.|
|Partnerships and affiliations||Chip Ganassi Racing | Ginn Racing | Earnhardt Ganassi Racing | Richard Childress Racing|
|Earnhardt Ganassi Racing|
|Sprint Cup drivers||Jamie McMurray (#1) | Juan Pablo Montoya (#42)|
|Development drivers||Jeffrey Earnhardt | Jesus Hernandez|
|Partnerships and affiliations||Chip Ganassi Racing | Richard Childress Racing | Tommy Baldwin Racing|
|Owners/Related info||Teresa Earnhardt | Dale Earnhardt | Chip Ganassi | Felix Sabates|