Ganassi at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2015
Floyd Ganassi Jr.
May 24, 1958
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Education||Fox Chapel Area High School|
|Alma mater||Duquesne University (BA)|
|Occupation||Owner and CEO, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams|
|Employer||Chip 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.
Ganassi attended the Bob Bondurant Driving School in 1977 while a student at the Fox Chapel Area High School. 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.
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.
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.
1996 - Hired two new drivers, a young promising American driver, Jimmy Vasser and relatively unknown Italian, Alessandro Zanardi. Vasser would go on to win Ganassi's first title after winning four of the Opening six races of the 1996 PPG Indy Car World Series season,
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.
2000 - Montoya wins the team's first Indianapolis 500, and Ganassi's second as team owner.
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.
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.
2015 – McMurray, Larson, Tony Kanaan and Dixon win the team's sixth Rolex 24 at Daytona. Dixon wins his fourth IndyCar Series Championship.
Ganassi was formerly a vice president of FRG Group, his father's organization involved in commercial real estate, transportation and other areas. 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.
He currently resides in the Pittsburgh suburb of Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania.
|1981||Robert Bosch Formula Super Vee Championship ||6th||March-Volkswagen 79/80SV|
|1981-82||USAC Gold Crown Series ||37th||First Commercial Corp.||Wildcat-Cosworth|
|1982||PPG Indy Car World Series ||34th||Rhoades Racing||Wildcat-Cosworth|
|1982-83||USAC Gold Crown Series ||16th||Patrick Racing||Wildcat-Cosworth|
|1983||PPG Indy Car World Series ||9th||Patrick Racing||Wildcat-Cosworth|
|1983-84||USAC Gold Crown Series ||32nd||Patrick Racing||March-Cosworth 84C|
|1984||PPG Indy Car World Series ||20th||Patrick Racing||Wildcat-Cosworth|
|1986||IMSA Camel Light Championship ||35th||Spice Engineering||Spice-Pontiac SE86CL|
American open-wheel racing results
|1985||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||LBH||INDY
|Machinists Union Racing||MIS1
|1986||Machinists Union Racing||PHX1
Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results
|1987||Kouros Racing|| Johnny Dumfries
Complete 24 Hours of Daytona results
|1986||RC Buick Hawk/Conte|| John Paul Jr.
Complete 24 Hours of Spa results
|1980||I.M.C. Toyota|| Emmanuel Remion
|Toyota Corolla GT||ser.T1.6||DNQ|
- "Fox Chapel district to honor Ganassi". TribLIVE.com. September 16, 2004. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
- Vettraino, J.T. (September 17, 2012). "Inside His Mind". Autoweek. 62 (19): 70–75.
- Wicker, Ned. IndyCar Champion - A Season with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, Motorbooks International, 1997, page 10
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2018-07-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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- [permanent dead link]
- Ken Wells, “Jaguar vs. Porsche – The Battle for Le Mans 1987" (William Kimberley Limited, ISBN 0 946132 43 7, 1987)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-07-15. Retrieved 2016-07-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Wicker, Ned. IndyCar Champion - A Season with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, Motorbooks International, 1997, page 9
- Chip Ganassi at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
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