By admin | August 8, 2010
By Richard Allen
Add yet another impressive feat in motorsports ownership to the growing list of achievements for Chip Ganassi in 2010.
Juan Pablo Montoya’s victory in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen helped complete a perfect weekend for the owner who just a couple of years ago appeared on the ropes and about to be knocked out of NASCAR.
On Saturday evening Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas scored a win in the Crown Royal 200 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen. It was their seventh win of the season.
On Sunday afternoon Ganassi picked up two more pieces for his trophy case. Montoya’s win came first as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wrapped up their event in the mid-afternoon. Later in the day, Dario Franchitti completed the Ganassi trifecta when he won the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
These types of accomplishments are becoming all to common for Ganassi. As has been well documented, he earlier this year became the first racing owner to win the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season.
Ganassi has had a good deal of success in IndyCar and sports car racing prior to this year. His teams have won multiple championships in those forms of racing and Franchitti’s Indy 500 win this past May was the third such for the owner.
But NASCAR success did not necessarily come so easily for Ganassi. Consider that in 2008 he had to merge his NASCAR team with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. because the two organizations were unable to come up with enough sponsorship to survive on their own and this season almost takes on the feel of a miracle for the Pennsylvania native.
While no one would have necessarily been surprised this past January had they been told Ganassi’s teams would have done so well in the IndyCar and GRAND-AM ranks, the amount of total success experienced by this one man in 2010 has to be considered unexpected.
When considering who the king of American motorsports may be, names such as Penske and Hendrick would come immediately to mind for most racing fans. However, in 2010 Chip Ganassi has wrested the crown from all others.
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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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