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Earnhardt-Ganassi move to Ford seems far fetched

By admin | November 2, 2010

By Richard Allen


The rumor mill has swirled around Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing for the last few days. Published stories say that the team is being courted by Ford Motor Company in an attempt to entice them to switch their allegiance to that brand in 2011. Supposedly, Ford has put up good money to make this deal happen.

In today’s tough business climate it would be difficult for any team to say no when they have been offered a significant amount of money. However, there seem to be a few too many strings to untie in this case for a switch to be made.

The Earnhardt part of Earnhardt-Ganassi has had a long standing relationship with General Motors and their Chevrolet brand. Granted, this company is only a shadow of what once was Dale Earnhardt, Inc. For that matter, both DEI and Chevy are only shadows of their former selves. Still, it would seem as though GM would want to keep the Earnhardt name associated with their product for as long as possible.

Keep in mind, though, that it’s not as if there is no relationship at all between the Earnhardts and Ford. Dale Earnhardt, Sr. once drove for soon-to-be Hall of Famer and Ford campaigner Bud Moore in the 1980s.

But most importantly, the Earnhardt part of Earnhardt-Ganassi has a long standing relationship with Richard Childress. Senior drove for RCR during the more memorable portion of his career and when he formed his own team he saw to it that the two teams worked together in chassis development and other aspects.

Today, even in the absence of Senior and with the merger of DEI to Chip Ganassi’s team, the two teams are closely tied. Earnhardt-Childress Engines have been very much a part of the NASCAR story in 2010. Those power plants have been under the hoods of cars winning a number of big races on the circuit. All of this season’s restrictor plate races, including the Daytona 500, were won with ECR engines. Also, races in Indianapolis, Charlotte, New Hampshire and Michigan were captured by either RCR or EGR drivers.

What happens to those powerful ECR motors the company has put out this year if the two main teams are employing separate manufacturers? Granted, there is little difference among the manufacturers when it comes to the body styles of the Car of Tomorrow. However, there is a difference among the engines.

Chevrolet is not going to be pleased with a company that produces engines for one of its teams at the same time producing Ford power plants. And the same could be said for Ford, especially in the relative infancy of their FR9 engine.

RCR is certainly not switching to Ford. So, what will happen?

It seems the most obvious answer is that Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing will be in Chevrolets in 2011. However, these troubled times may cause the powers that be within this current arrangement to think ‘outside the box’ so to speak.

Quite possibly an answer will be forthcoming very soon. I am not saying and EGR switch to Ford won’t happen but the idea seems a bit far fetched when all that would have to happen is taken into consideration.

*It was announced at a luncheon on Wednesday that EGR would remain with Chevrolet.

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Topics: Articles |

8 Responses to “Earnhardt-Ganassi move to Ford seems far fetched”

  1. Rusty Says:
    November 3rd, 2010 at 5:15 am

    They would get Ford engines fron Roush Fenway. This helps Roush fill a void in their customer business with the demise of George Gillette. Means ECR engines needs to find new customers though. Tough business…

  2. darrin Says:
    November 3rd, 2010 at 7:01 am

    no thats fords main problem roush sucks they dont think outside the box
    if EGR switches look for errnie elliott to supply the engines

  3. Charles Says:
    November 3rd, 2010 at 7:03 am


    It would make Nascar racing better if Nascar had better balance of competition between the brand of cars!

    Ford which seems to be doing very well in everything but Nascar, is begaining to to see the importance of having other teams than Roush to get better performance!

    But Nascar needs to bring its former core fan base the ‘Car Guy” back in the sport! This Chevy or GM domination is ruining the sport, seems if its not Hendrick it moves to Childress, now Earnhart Gannisis, what do they have in common, they all are Chevys!

    I mention years ago when in 2007 after Chevy had dominated Nascar the privous year, winning, point titiles and leading laps, they give them a New RO7 engine, and now you are seeing the benefits of that! You dont give dominant brands new engines if you are sincere about ‘even it up!

    Just because Earnhardt has history with Chevy, does not mean a change would be bad, just look at Richard Petty in 1969 he had a history with Chrysler and made the switch, then switched back, and then moved to GM!

    In fact mabe Ford should go one step futher and try to get Dale Jr and do a Wrangler 15 retro car just like his daddy drove to wins for Bud Moore in the early eighties!
    Dale Jr, and Ford combination dont see anything but improvement for these two!

    The competition between the brand of cars is what made Nascar, its still has a big fan base that Nascar has lost, Indy now is seeing it, the Cot is proving it, The Car still matters no matter how they deny it or want you to think!
    Nascar is not just a driver fan sport!!!!!

  4. Keith Says:
    November 3rd, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Charles I would not say that anybody gave Chevy a RO7 engine I think that GM, Hendrick, Childress and Gibbs designed and built it and submitted it for use. Why should Chevy be punished for the hard work and time put in to this engine because Ford did not do the same. Now if Ford submitted an engine within spec’s and were turned down there would be something to complain about.
    How about how unfair it was to GM that Gibbs sat in on the development of the RO7 when they had a contract to stay with them and not negotiate with another manufacture until the season was over but they negotiated with Toyota early and rumor has it that they had signed a contract with them way before they told GM about them leaving. That was like giving Toyota keys to the GM engine shop.

  5. underbird-7 Says:
    November 3rd, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Amen Charles. Been a fan for almost all of my 48 years and I can vouch for your manufacturer argument.

    Drivers are a dime a dozen. What attracts die-hard fans to the sport is the competition between manufacturers and the teams, not the pretty faces.

    Domination by any single group of competitors is bad for any sport. It’s been proven time and again in MLB, the NFL, and the NBA. If you’ll remember, Bill France, and BF Jr. used to manipulate the rules, by manufactruer, during the season to maintain a competitive balance, as it were. Although the France’s have always accepted graft from GM, it used to be made a little less obvious by the suble rules changes they would make to help out one brand or the other when they were behind the technology curve.

    As I see it, and obviously so do the manufacturers, brand recognition and brand based competition will slowly win the fans back.

    Mr Brian France, you can take all the Hollywood Hotel freaks, former drivers and crew chiefs, become TV ANALysts (who have bigger egos than the drivers), your driver introduction ceremonies, your derbis cautions, your pit road speeding penalties, your winged COTs, your splitters, your top-35 rule, your chase, your $6 beer, your $135 seats, your cookie-cutter tracks, your road-course races, etc; and give us back Bob Jenkins, Ned Jarrett, and Benny Parsons. Three legitimate manufacturers who have an equal shot at winning each week, a national anthem, fly-over, “Gentlemen start your engines”, green flag, a caution or two as required by a legitimate danger to drivers, crews or fans, then a checkered flag. The fans will return, I promise you.

  6. John Says:
    November 3rd, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Roush iS trying to steal info. on how EGR build’s their cars, thats the only reason Roush was doing buisness with RPM.

  7. Charles Says:
    November 3rd, 2010 at 12:57 pm


    Yes they Nascar approved the Ro7 engine, just like in the late ninties after Jeff Gordon and Dale Sr had dominated the point titles in the ninties, then they got the SB2 Engine! Do you think they were underpowered then?

    If you are a Chevy fan you should be happy!

    Remember all Bill Elliot back in the eighties had to deal with rule change after rule change before he had won 6 races! Why dont they do that to Jimmy Johnson!?

    My point is there are more brands of cars in Nascar than there has been in a long time, and between the brands its more onesided than ever in the Chevy column!

    Nascar is supposed to even it up, that is why they have tests dynos etc, if its another brand dominating like Chevy I will bet you see instant rule changes!

    Chevy has great cars and teams, but Nascar needs to stop this onesided show and they can do it!

    Having great competition so us car fans can be apart of this sport is what is truly missing!

  8. Keith Says:
    November 3rd, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Charles I somewhat understand where you are coming from and I have no problem with Ford but I can’t stand Toyota but when someone keeps advancing and improving their product you don’t penalize them because someone else can’t keep up or won’t keep up. If Ford is bringing ideas to the table and Na$car is shooting them down to keep Chevy ahead then that is a problem. If Ford next season starts kicking Chevy’s butt it is Chevy’s job to catch up not Na$car’s job to slow Ford down.
    In 1987 I remember Elliotts Thunderbird kicking everyones butt with the narrowed front end that made the car look like a dart and with Ernies high horsepowered engines if I recall they let Chevy make the changes they submitted but did not change the T-Bird any and Ford changed it themselves with the 1988 or 89 model.