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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chip Ganassi
Chip Ganassi - Carb Day 2015 - Stierch.jpg
Ganassi at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2015
Floyd Ganassi Jr.

(1958-05-24) May 24, 1958 (age 62)
EducationFox Chapel Area High School
Alma materDuquesne University (BA)
OccupationOwner and CEO, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Years active1990–present
EmployerChip Ganassi Racing Teams

Floyd "Chip" Ganassi Jr. (born May 24, 1958) is an American businessman, former 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. He is owner and CEO of Chip Ganassi Racing which operates teams in the IndyCar Series, NASCAR Cup Series, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and Extreme E. 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 biggest races in the world.

Racing driver

Ganassi attended the Bob Bondurant Driving School in 1977 while a student at the Fox Chapel Area High School.[1] 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 standings. 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, in his next race his career was cut short by a huge crash at Michigan involving Al Unser, Jr. In a race full of huge accidents, he spun his car coming off one of the banked turns, he then collected Unser, Jr., his car then skated across the grass run-off area, slammed into the inside Armco barrier, his car tumbled multiple times and broke apart- although Unser Jr. was uninjured Ganassi suffered head injuries and did not race for 9 months; he never raced full-time again.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Although he returned to race briefly in CART and IMSA in 1986. Ganassi achieved his top sportscar result in the 1986 Kodak Copies 500 at Watkins Glen that 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 teammates for the event, Johnny Dumfries set the fastest lap of the race prior to handing the car over to Ganassi upon whom the gearbox broke.[8][9]

Team owner

Ganassi and Lorin Ranier at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2014
Ganassi and Lorin Ranier at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2014

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.

1995 – Hired a young promising American driver, Jimmy Vasser.

1996 – Jimmy Vasser won Ganassi's first title after winning four of the Opening six races of the 1996 PPG Indy Car World Series season. Bryan Herta was replaced with an Italian ex-Formula 1 driver, Alessandro Zanardi, who became the most successful driver of the second half of the season, eventually coming in third in the championship.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

2000 – Montoya wins the team's first Indianapolis 500, and Ganassi's second as team owner.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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

2016 – WEC team brings Ford a 24 Hours of Le Mans victory 50 years after their historic 1966 triumph. Larson grabs his first NASCAR Cup Series win at Michigan.

2017 – Larson brings home 4 NASCAR Cup Series victories, most in a season for Ganassi since 2010. Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand, and Sebastian Bourdais would take home Ganassi's seventh Rolex 24 at Daytona victory.

2018 – IMSA Weathertech Sports Car Series team brings home win No. 200 for the Ganassi organization with their eighth Rolex 24 at Daytona victory. Dixon wins his fifth IndyCar Series Championship. Universal Pictures releases film "Born Racer" about Scott Dixon's drive for success with Chip Ganassi Racing.

2019 – Kurt Busch takes home is first victory with Chip Ganassi Racing, while Kyle Larson nabs the NASCAR All-Star Race and later puts Chip Ganassi Racing into the Round of 8 for the first time in their NASCAR Cup Series Playoff history.

2020 – Chip Ganassi Racing celebrates their 30th anniversary. Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, CA opens a year-long exhibit to honor Ganassi's legacy in motorsports. Scott Dixon captures his sixth IndyCar title after opening the season with 3 straight victories, followed by Felix Rosenqivst's win at Road America to give the team four-straight to start the 2020 season. Kurt Busch propels Ganassi's NASCAR program to the Round of 8 once again with a nail-biting win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ganassi announces that Jimmie Johnson will join his IndyCar program in 2021 for the road courses and street races. Ganassi also adds IMSA back to his racing ventures with Cadillac in the DPi class, and announces his team will join the startup series Extreme E with drivers Kyle LeDuc and Sara Price.

Personal life

Ganassi was formerly a vice president of FRG Group, his father's organization involved in commercial real estate, transportation and other areas.[2] 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 Children's Research Hospital, to which his teams have donated over US$500,000.[10]

He graduated from the Fox Chapel Area High School in 1978 and with a degree in finance from Duquesne University in 1982.[11] He received an Honorary Doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University in 2011.


He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2016.[12]

Racing record

Career highlights

Season Series Position Team Car
1981 Robert Bosch Formula Super Vee Championship[13][14] 6th March-Volkswagen 79/80SV
Ralt-Volkswagen RT5
1981-82 USAC Gold Crown Series[15][16] 37th First Commercial Corp. Wildcat-Cosworth
1982 PPG Indy Car World Series[17][18] 34th Rhoades Racing Wildcat-Cosworth
1982-83 USAC Gold Crown Series[19] 16th Patrick Racing Wildcat-Cosworth
1983 PPG Indy Car World Series[20][21] 9th Patrick Racing Wildcat-Cosworth
1983-84 USAC Gold Crown Series[22][23] 32nd Patrick Racing March-Cosworth 84C
1984 PPG Indy Car World Series[24][25] 20th Patrick Racing Wildcat-Cosworth
March-Cosworth 84C
1986 IMSA Camel Light Championship[26][27] 35th Spice Engineering Spice-Pontiac SE86CL

American open-wheel racing results



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
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

Indianapolis 500

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results

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

Complete 24 Hours of Daytona results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
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

Complete 24 Hours of Spa results

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


  1. ^ "Fox Chapel district to honor Ganassi". September 16, 2004. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  2. ^ a b Vettraino, J.T. (September 17, 2012). "Inside His Mind". Autoweek. 62 (19): 70–75.
  3. ^ Wicker, Ned. IndyCar Champion – A Season with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, Motorbooks International, 1997, page 10
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2018-07-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Chip Ganassi". 8 November 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Driver Chip Ganassi 1983 CART Results". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  8. ^ [2][permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Ken Wells, “Jaguar vs. Porsche – The Battle for Le Mans 1987" (William Kimberley Limited, ISBN 0 946132 43 7, 1987)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-07-15. Retrieved 2016-07-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Wicker, Ned. IndyCar Champion - A Season with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, Motorbooks International, 1997, page 9
  12. ^ Chip Ganassi at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
  13. ^ "Formula Super Vee USA Robert Bosch/Valvoline Championship 1981 standings". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  14. ^ Galpin, Darren. "1981 Robert Bosch Formula Super Vee Championship". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  15. ^ "USAC Gold Crown Series standings for 1981". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  16. ^ "USAC Gold Crown Championship 1982 standings". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  17. ^ "CART standings for 1982". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  18. ^ "PPG Indy Car World Series 1982 standings". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  19. ^ "USAC Gold Crown Series standings for 1982". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  20. ^ "CART standings for 1983". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  21. ^ "PPG Indy Car World Series 1983 standings". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  22. ^ "USAC Gold Crown Series standings for 1983". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  23. ^ "USAC Gold Crown Championship 1984 standings". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  24. ^ "CART standings for 1984". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  25. ^ "PPG Indy Car World Series 1984 standings". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  26. ^ "1995 Player's Toyota Atlantic Championship". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  27. ^ "IMSA Camel Lights 1986 standings". Retrieved 29 July 2018.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Adrian Newey
John Bolster Lifetime Achievement Award
Succeeded by
Gian Paolo Dallara
Preceded by
Cameron R. Argetsinger Award
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 4 May 2021, at 13:02
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