McDonald's [? races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor for the following 2015 races (on hood):
Daytona - 2/14, Sprint Unlimited
Atlanta - 3/1
Auto Club - 3/22
Bristol - 4/19
Talladega - 5/3
Kansas - 5/10
Dover - 5/31, Cessna on side
Michigan - 6/14
Daytona - 7/5
New Hampshire - 7/19, Cessna on side
Indianapolis - 7/26, Cessna on side
Watkins Glen - 8/9
Bristol - 8/22, Cessna on side
the rest TBA
Cessna [? races] scheduled to be the sponsor for the following 2015 races (on hood):
Daytona - 2/22, McDonald's on side
Las Vegas - 3/8, Beechcraft
Phoenix - 3/15, E-Z-GO
Martinsville - 3/29, Dixie Chopper
Texas - 4/11, McDonald's
Charlotte - 5/24, McDonald's
Pocono - 6/7, Cushman
Sonoma - 6/28, Beechcraft
Kentucky - 7/11, Bad Boy Buggies
Michigan - 8/16, McDonald's
the rest TBA
2015 Races  that Energizer is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Richmond - 4/25
Bass Pro Shops is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2015:
Charlotte, All Star Race - 5/16
Sherwin Williams is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2015:
Phoenix - 11/15
Lexar is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2015:
Pocono - 8/2
Contract Status: Driver: 2015?; Sponsors: McDonald's 2015?, Cessna 2015?
No third team for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2016: Despite speculation that Chip Ganassi Racing would add a third car for next season, the team confirmed Friday that they will remain a two-car operation. Officials with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates confirmed Friday that the organization will field just two fulltime teams in the Sprint Cup Series next season. Ganassi currently fields cars for #1-Jamie McMurray and #42-Kyle Larson and that won't change next year despite the addition of Rob Kauffman as an investor to the organization.(Motorsport)(8-21-2015)
Kauffman says MWR will cease operations after 2015 season: Rob Kauffman, an amateur racer who is a highly successful businessman, said Friday he had enough of pouring his own money into Michael Waltrip Racing without seeing results and announced that MWR would cease operations after this season. Kauffman, who saved MWR from closing in 2007 by purchasing half the team from Waltrip, announced Wednesday that the team would not field Sprint Cup cars in 2016. "Michael Waltrip Racing wouldn't have existed through today without substantial and continued financial support from me," Kauffman said Friday before Sprint Cup practice at Bristol Motor Speedway. "From a business standpoint, that didn't make sense any longer. You can't have a top-10 budget and top-10 resources and not be in the top 10 for a sustained period of time. It's a performance-related business. It's all about performance. It's a great sport but a very difficult business model. From a business decision, it just made sense to not go forward with that organization, which is not commercially viable." MWR expanded from two cars to three in 2012 when it added Bowyer, but that lasted only two years after Bowyer and MWR were embroiled in a race-manipulation scandal at Richmond in the final regular-season 2013 race. "Certainly that was a pretty heavy body blow to our organization," Kauffman said. "It caused a big restructuring; 2014 was at some level a large reset year for everybody, also [on the] financial [side]. As we got into the late spring in 2015, from a performance standpoint, the company wasn't where it needed to be, and that kind of forced some decisions and thought processes over the summer." Kauffman wouldn't say whether a three-car organization would have produced better results. "My crystal ball, unfortunately, is not clear," Kauffman said. "In a parallel universe, I'm not sure what would have happened."(ESPN)(8-21-2015)
Sabates says no deal with Kaufman yet: When Rob Kauffman announced at the beginning of August he had purchased an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, many in the NASCAR community wondered what it meant for the future. Kauffman is also a co-owner in Michael Waltrip Racing, but it was made clear the two organizations would operate separately throughout the rest of the year. A source close to the situation indicated this weekend at Michigan International Speedway the deal between Kauffman and the Ganassi organization is far from done, something Felix Sabates confirmed to FOXSports.com Sunday morning. "Basically we're talking. We don't have anything concrete," said Sabates. "We'd like to do something with (Kauffman), because I think he can add a lot to our team. We don't have anything signed." With MWR running Toyotas and Ganassi running Chevrolets, Kauffman has a unique predicament on his hands. The source indicated MWR has already been cut off by Toyota in all areas, with the exception of providing motors. Sabates could not speak to how Kauffman will handle the manufacturer situation, but said believes Kauffman eventually will have a decision to make. "I don't think it will work for him to have both (Chevrolet and Toyota teams), but you never know," he said. Sabates said expanding to a three-car organization has no bearing on the on-going discussions with Kauffman, but the overall goal is to expand the team. "Our goal is to expand either next year or the following year," he said.(Fox Sports)(8-17-2015)
Kaufmann talks to the press: A brief statement by Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman raised more questions than it provided answers about the future of MWR. Earlier in the week, a statement released by MWR indicated Kaufmann was buying into Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, fueling speculation that driver Clint Bowyer and sponsor 5-Hour Energy would move to Ganassi. Standing behind the hauler of the #55 MWR Toyota driven by David Ragan, however, Kauffman gave the impression that co-owner Michael Waltrip was somehow involved in the process and that there might be synergy between the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organizations. "First and foremost, the thing that's important to realize is that Michael Waltrip and I co-own Michael Waltrip Racing together," Kauffman said. "We're business partners and great personal friends, so any idea that I'm leaving or taking anything is actually misplaced. What we're actually doing is integrating the businesses, trying to get the most competitive product on track, do the best for all of our partners-that's really our focus. It's a competitive business, as everybody knows. It's competitive on track as well as off track." Kauffman indicated there are many details still to be determined. "In terms of our plans, whether we have three cars, four cars, two roofs, one roof-that's all yet to be determined, and how we do in the 2015 season will help determine whether that happens," Kauffman said. "If we do a great job, that'll be one outcome. If we do a less great job, probably another." Kauffman stepped into the hauler without taking questions from the throng of reporters clustered outside.(NASCAR Wire Service)(8-2-2015)
McMurray running a colorful paint scheme at Pocono: The #1 Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray will feature the colorful paint scheme for Lexar products. Lexar is a long-standing partner of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT). Lexar products continue to help CGRT enhance the way drivers and engineers gather and analyze data from the race cars. CGRT uses Lexar products in a variety of different capacities throughout the organization with its Verizion IndyCar, TUDOR United Sports Car Championship and NASCAR XFINITY and Sprint Cup Series teams, utilizing Lexar SD memory cards, CompactFlash memory cards and Lexar USB flash drives.
" Wes Brewer, vice president and general manager, Lexar: "We look forward to watching Jamie take on Pocono Raceway behind the wheel of the #1 Lexar Chevy. With its unique twists and turns, the Pocono track always adds an element of excitement to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and we can't wait to see Jamie accomplish his goals sporting the Lexar brand."(CGR), see images of the car/scheme on Jayski.com's #1 Team Schemes page.(7-30-2015)
Statements from MWR, CGR, Sabates, Waltrip & Toyota:
Statement from Michael Waltrip Racing: "Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has agreed to buy an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The companies will continue to operate separately and compete against each other for the remainder of the 2015 season. They are also currently evaluating ways to field the most competitive race teams possible to provide an excellent platform for their partners and employees for the 2016 season and beyond. More details will follow in due course".(MWR)
Statement from Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates "We confirm that Rob Kauffman has agreed to acquire an interest in the team. Further discussions regarding the 2016 season and beyond are underway."(CGR)
Felix Sabates Statement to SXM NASCAR "I'm not going anywhere. This is about making our team stronger, a three car team is stronger than a two car. But the rumors that Rob is buying me out are not true, my last race will be five years from September 9th. I will be 75 years old then and will be done."(SXM NASCAR)
Statement from Michael Waltrip: "My focus is on 2015 and fulfilling the commitment we have made to our partners and Toyota which is placing our teams in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. There are a lot of details yet to be sorted regarding 2016. I will work closely with Rob Kauffman and our sponsors to formulate the best way forward."(MWR)(7-30-2015)
Statement from Toyota on Rob Kauffman Announcement: "We've spoken with Rob Kauffman and understand he has agreed to buy an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Rob has not disclosed the plans for Michael Waltrip Racing past the 2015 racing season. Toyota and TRD remain focused on winning races and championships with our team partners this year." ~Ed Laukes, Vice President marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS)(7-31-2015)
MWR to Chevy? Ragan to return? What about Vickers? UPDATE 3 denied?: What in the world will Toyota Racing's Sprint Cup program look like next year? One persistent, hot rumor features a manufacturer swap of sorts, with Rob Kauffman, currently the principal owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, taking his racing interests and partnering with a Chevy team. Furniture Row Racing is currently eyeing the Toyota camp with an ardor that has progressed well beyond flirtation.
Two potential partnerships mentioned for Kauffman are Chip Ganassi Racing and Richard Childress Racing. Ganassi absorbed Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Martin Truex Jr. into the fold back in 2009. RCR expressed interest in acquiring a minority partner after Chartwell Investments expressed a desire to sell its stake in the company in 2012. Kauffman did not offer a definitive reply when asked about a possible realignment.
Furniture Row's Barney Visser has been more forthcoming. The Denver, Colorado-based team owner hopes to make a manufacturer decision in the next few weeks to accommodate a possible restructuring with Toyota for next year.
Although FRR currently receives no financial support from Chevrolet, the team's move could open the door for Kauffman to enter into a technical alliance with RCR, with whom the #78 currently shares data. However, sources told Motorsport.com that Ganassi appears to be the frontrunner for Kauffman's capital at this time.
Michael Waltrip Racing's driver lineup likely hinges on Aaron's continued support with the #55 team. Both Kauffman and Clint Bowyer, who is in the first year of a three-year contract, are high on driver David Ragan. Aaron's has been a sponsor of Michael Waltrip's since 2000 but has yet to renew with MWR. A decision on the company's involvement could come in the next six to eight weeks.
Last week Brian Vickers expressed interest in returning to racing. Given the unpredictability of Vickers situation, Kauffman isn't sure whether they could accommodate the driver. "...The most important thing right now is his health. I haven't really had a conversation with him regarding coming back to racing and the like. It's a big medical issue that I haven't been involved with up until now.," Kauffman said. "He loves racing, so I'm sure he does (want to return), but I think it would be a challenge to try and figure something out--but I would never say never."(Motorsport)(7-23-2015)
UPDATE: David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Tuesday that the manufacturer has its sights set on more teams making the 2015 Chase while also looking ahead to its 2016 lineup. Michael Waltrip Racing with Clint Bowyer's #15 team and David Ragan's #55 are the manufacturer's two highest-ranked drivers without wins, sitting 15th and 24th respectively in the standings. Based on points, the #15 driver is currently in the provisional Chase Grid, but if Busch makes the top 30, Bowyer will be bounced without a win. As the manufacturer attempts to add those MWR teams to this year's Chase, Wilson wasn't certain about the organization's future with Toyota.
"We are talking to a number of organizations about the future, and certainly in the near-term, we're not sure what Michael Waltrip Racing is going to do," Wilson said. "They've yet to announce their plans. Certainly we have had a rich history in the sport together. We got our butts kicked together in 2007, our first year, and you forge very close and personal relationships when you have those trials together. Whatever they decide to do, we certainly wish nothing but the best for them."
Wilson has acknowledged discussions with #78 Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser about the Denver-based team's potential manufacturer move from Chevrolet to Toyota. But the TRD president suggested that Furniture Row, like Toyota itself, was focused on its 2015 Chase efforts. "Regarding Furniture Row Racing, again they haven't announced their plans for next year certainly," Wilson said. "I imagine they're focusing on getting Martin Truex well-positioned in the Chase as well and competitive."(NASCAR.com)(7-29-2015)
UPDATE 2: Michael Waltrip Racing principal Owner Rob Kauffman is close to purchasing Felix Sabates' stake in Chip Ganassi Racing, according to multiple industry sources, which would cause Kauffman to drop his affiliation with MWR if the sale is completed. Kauffman, who has been with MWR for eight years, would take on Sabates' minority stake in the team, while CGR principal Owner Chip Ganassi would continue to retain majority control, according to sources. It is unclear if Sabates will hold onto a small stake to retain his affiliation with the team or if he will be dropping the affiliation entirely.
Sources said that Kauffman would take one of the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entries at MWR - the #15 Toyota driven by Clint Bowyer - with him to CGR. Because MWR's sponsors, including 5-Hour Energy, Aaron's, Peak, AAA and Maxwell House, have yet to determine their next move, it is unclear whether the operation, which also has the #55 currently driven by David Ragan, would form an alliance or merge with another team, or pursue some other option. CGR execs had no comment; MWR did not respond to e-mails by presstime.
Ganassi Racing currently has two Sprint Cup entries - the #1 McDonald's / Cessna Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray and the #42 Target Chevy driven by Kyle Larson. The combined three-car entity will remain with Chevrolet, which is the current supplier to CGR in the Sprint Cup Series. Kauffman also is chair of the Race Team Alliance, which was founded last year. Whether his role with the RTA will be affected is unclear.(Sports Business Daily)(7-29-2015)
UPDATE 3: Felix Sabates, part owner in Chip Ganassi Racing's NASCAR operation, disputed a published report Wednesday by Sports Business Daily claiming Rob Kauffman was close to purchasing Sabates' stake in the team. "I am not going anywhere," Sabates said. "I am having too much fun. Plus, I have unfinished business. I need to sit at the head table in Las Vegas."(Motorsport)(7-30-2015)
McMurray hopeful of Chase spot...even without win: Points tabulations had entered #1-Jamie McMurray's mid-race calculus by May, as he ran mid-pack in the final 30 laps at Talladega Superspeedway. He could pull out and hope for a push, advance, possibly win what would still stand as his only victory of the season. Or he could ride, amass points, and continue pursuing his first-ever berth in the multiple variations of the Chase for the Sprint Cup that debuted in 2004. "I wanted to pull down, because you want to go win," McMurray told USA TODAY Sports. "And I came on the radio and asked, 'How many cars are on the lead lap?' And they said 32. I was like, I am not willing to give up 12 points for trying to gain five. I didn't like the risk versus the reward." McMurray chose points and still managed to follow the line to an 11th-place finish. Those points help him enter the Brickyard 400 on Sunday ninth in the standings, highest among Sprint Cup non-winners.
Both McMurray and crew chief Matt McCall operate under the assumption that three-race winner #18-Kyle Busch will climb three more rungs to 30th in driver points and leave just five transfer spots available. That impacts their math. "Honestly, as long as Kyle Busch is 99 percent going to make the top 30, which will put him in the Chase, for the most part, if we don't have someone outside of the top 16 win a race, I wouldn't say we're guaranteed in, but I think we're really comfortably going to be in," McMurray said. "It's if you get one or two guys at a road course somewhere or maybe win a fuel mileage race, if they win outside of that, that's when it gets really tough because you'd have to be in the top 13 or 14 in points."(USA Today)(7-26-2015)
Ford Returning to Le Mans with Chip Ganassi Racing: Ford announced it is returning to one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world with its new Ford GT race car, based on the all-new ultra-high-performance supercar that goes on sale next year. The Ford GT race car will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans - referred to by many as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency - starting next year. Ford GT will compete in the Le Mans GT Endurance class for professional teams and drivers (LM GTE Pro). The new race car is based on the all-new Ford GT supercar unveiled in January. Both the production car and race car will arrive in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ford went on to repeat its victory at Le Mans in 1967, 1968 and 1969. The new Ford GT race car will run the full 2016 schedules of the FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, making its competition debut in January 2016 in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Florida. The two Ford teams will be operated by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS). Both series teams intend to compete with a four-car effort at Le Mans. Drivers will be announced later. Joining Ford in this project are Multimatic Motorsports, Roush Yates Engines, Castrol, Michelin, Forza Motorsport, Sparco, Brembo and CGRFS.(Ford)(6-12-2015)
Special scheme for McMurray at Richmond: When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Richmond International Raceway (RIR) this week, #1-Jamie McMurray will sport the new colors of Energizer EcoAdvanced Batteries. As an extension of the long-standing partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams and in support of the NASCAR industry-wide Green and Sustainability initiative "Race to Green", Energizer will feature the recently introduced, Energizer EcoAdvanced batteries, on the #1 Chevty SS. Energizer EcoAdvanced is a first-of-its-kind battery made with four percent recycled battery material that delivers long-lasting power while creating less impact on the planet. Just like NASCAR teams are always looking for innovative ways to increase performance, Energizer is dedicated to creating a long-lasting battery made of recycled materials, including the continued focus to ultimately deliver a battery made of 40% recycled materials by 2025.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(4-23-2015)
Chip Ganassi Racing expands into Red Bull Global Rallycross: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced the formation of a two-car team in the Supercar class of Red Bull Global Rallycross with new partner Loenbro and drivers Brian Deegan and Steve Arpin. CGRT joins the vibrant and growing series and looks to continue its history of on-track success while also complementing the team's continued focus on reaching millennials as a vehicle to grow interest in motorsports. CGRT joins forces with energy services and construction company Loenbro, which serves clients throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond, to field the two-car team out of CGRT's Concord, N.C.-based shop that houses their NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series programs. Founding brothers Paul and Jon Leach are entrepreneurs who built a company on a foundation of strong core values and a tireless effort to exceed clients' expectations, and have had life-long personal interests in the world of motorsports. The 16-time X-Games medalist Deegan will pilot the #38 RockStar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta ST, with teammate Arpin in the #00 ENEOS Ford Fiesta ST. Arpin will run the full 12-race calendar, with Deegan competing in seven races. The two will also compete in X Games Austin this summer as it returns to Circuit of the Americas from June 4-7.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(3-19-2015)
Gordon and McMurray comment about wreck at Atlanta: #24-Jeff Gordon and #1-Jamie McMurray were victims of a late wreck on lap 256 in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Comments by Jeff Gordon:
Gordon: "I saw the #11 (Denny Hamlin) going sideways. I had him cleared. I stood on the gas and went by him; but I guess he might have clipped the #1 (Jamie McMurray) and it turned the #1 back into me. After that I was just along for the ride. It looks like maybe the #31 (Ryan Newman) came down in trying to avoid the #11 and got into the #1 and then he clipped me in the left rear and sent me down the back straightaway. It wouldn't have been too bad except that I found that one spot where there's no SAFER barrier. I can't believe it. That's amazing to me. Anyway, hopefully soon that will get fixed. It was a pretty big impact. I hate it for this team. We were struggling. We didn't have the 3M Chevrolet that I thought we were going to have, but we weren't giving up on it. We were going to make gains and we finally got ourselves in the top 10 and I think we had a shot of getting into the top five. But obviously it's not the way we want to start our season."
WAS IT THE INTENSITY OF THE RACE YOU THINK THAT CAUSED THAT INCIDENT?
Gordon: "He (Denny Hamlin) was loose before that. He looked like he struggled on the restarts. He would go up the race track. I think he was just real loose in the beginning of a run. Guys, yeah, they are getting aggressive. I don't know if somebody got into the back of him, but they may have. He went around and at that point everybody is just trying to avoid him. You know how on those restarts it gets pretty wild down there in (turns) one and two. The later you get in the race like everywhere it gets more intense and guys start pushing harder and giving a lot less."
IS IT TIME FOR DRIVERS TO DO MORE TO MAKE SURE SAFER BARRIERS ARE ALL OVER EVERY TRACK?
Gordon: "I am very frustrated with the fact there are no SAFER barriers down there. I knew it was a hard hit. I was like 'man I can't believe...' I didn't expect it to be that hard. Then I got out and I looked and I saw 'oh wow big surprise I found the one wall here on the back straightaway that doesn't have a SAFER barrier. I don't think we can say any more after Kyle's (Busch) incident at Daytona. Everybody knows we have to do something and it should have been done a long time ago. All we can do now is hope they do it as fast as they possibly can."
ON WHAT HAPPENED:
Gordon: "I saw the #11 (Denny Hamlin) get loose and come around. He was just trying to save it, and guys were trying to avoid him, and got collected. I went by the No.11 on the outside and cleared him. I thought I was in good shape then I saw the #1 (Jamie McMurray) coming fast. I tried to get by him and he clipped me in the left rear and spun us around and sent us into the wall on the back straightaway. We weren't having a great day, I thought we would be better than that. We were struggling but I'm proud of the way we were fighting through. We had gotten ourselves into the top-10 right there. We might have had a shot at a top-five but we won't know now. It's unfortunate way to start the season. We just have to dig ourselves out of this hole."
Comments by Jamie McMurray:
McMurray: "So, the #11 (Denny Hamlin) just got loose. It's pretty hard to pass. And you run wide-open so long that you take what you can get when you can get it. And the restarts are the best place to pass on the track; especially if you're on the bottom. That's a pretty big advantage here. You're just racing as hard as you can and unfortunately we just had an accident there. Our McDonald's Chevy was really good today. I was really proud of our whole team. The track bar adjuster was really interesting if you got to play with that and there were times you'd get your car back. I don't know that it necessarily created passing, but it saved you at times if the car got a longs way off. So yeah, interesting day."
ON WHAT HAPPENED:
McMurray: "I didn't see the #11 (Denny Hamlin) spin out there. I was trying to pass the #31 (Ryan Newman) on the bottom and I honestly thought I got hit by the #31. I had to watch the replay to see that the #11 had lost it on top and came down. I don't know if he clipped the #31 or if he clipped me. I didn't see any of that coming. That was kind of out of the blue. You just try to get all you can on the restarts and he just got loose."
ON HOW HE WAS RUNNING BEFORE THE INCIDENT:
McMurray: "Atlanta hasn't been very good for me, and it hasn't been very good for our group. So to run as good as we did today I think that is going to be really good for Las Vegas and some of the other tracks with a lot of grip."(Team Chevy)(3-1-2015)
Sabates closes Bentley dealership: For those who drive a Bentley, or hope to soon, High Point, NC is your likely destination, not Charlotte. Felix Sabates opened the first and only Bentley dealership in Charlotte in late 2013, but, as of last Friday, it's closed. In a letter dated Jan. 20, Sabates told customers, "My partners and I have decided after losing dollars above seven figures, it is in our best financial interest to discontinue the sale of Bentley automobiles in Charlotte. Bentley Motors makes great automobiles, but unfortunately a single high-end brand new car dealership cannot survive in this market, and we were limited by contract with our landlord with what brand of pre-owned cars we could sell." Sabates opened a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Pineville in 2006. Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera endorses the dealer in a series of local TV ads. An employee at the Mercedes dealership who answered the phone this afternoon said Bentleys will be repaired and maintained there. In his letter, Sabates mentions a request made to Bentley to allow him to service Bentleys in Charlotte. Bentley has had a dealership in High Point since 1963. Geoff Eade, who runs that dealership, threatened legal action against Sabates prior to the Charlotte dealership's opening. Eade opted against a lawsuit and Sabates spent $500,000 overhauling a former Mini dealership on Independence Boulevard to sell Bentleys.(Charlotte Business Journal)(2-4-2015)
RCR settles lawsuit with McCall over move to Ganassi: Richard Childress Racing has settled its lawsuit with former engineer Matt McCall, who left the organization after the 2014 season to crew chief at Chip Ganassi Racing. RCR had sued McCall in North Carolina Superior Court in December, and lost its request for a temporary restraining order to keep McCall from working as crew chief for driver Jamie McMurray and from using RCR trade secrets. McCall had been the lead engineer for Ryan Newman, who finished second in the 2014 standings. The two sides were scheduled to return to the courtroom Feb. 10 (three days before the garage opens in Daytona), but a settlement was confirmed by RCR in a statement released to Sporting News: "Richard Childress Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing have reached an agreement pursuant to which Mathew McCall will remain the crew chief for Ganassi's #1 Sprint Cup team," the statement said. "Both organizations believe it is important for NASCAR teams to work together to honor and protect their respective proprietary and trade secret technologies, as well as one another's contractual commitments. The terms of the settlement are designed to further that objective. The remaining terms of the agreement shall remain confidential."(Sporting News)(2-1-2015)
Sabates guarantees his drivers will make the Chase: Chip Ganassi Racing co-owner Felix Sabates has guaranteed that both #42-Kyle Larson and #1-Jamie McMurray will make the post-season Chase in 2015. The flamboyant Sabates took to the podium Thursday during NASCAR's pre-season Media Tour and predicted that his two-car team would secure a pair of Chase berths this season. "I've never guaranteed anybody anything in all the years I've been in racing," Sabates said. "But I'll guarantee you that both of these guys will be in the Chase."(MRN)(1-30-2015)
Sherwin Williams to sponsor McMurray? was sent some images of the #1 Sherwin-Williams Chevy, hearing that Sherwin-Williams will be a primary sponsor, but no idea how many races, see images of the car/scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(1-28-2015)
Chip Ganassi Racing wins Rolex 24 at Daytona: Scott Dixon drove a gritty and lengthy final leg Sunday to lead Chip Ganassi Racing and its "star car" to a record-breaking sixth victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The three-time IndyCar champion relieved Kyle Larson, NASCAR's reigning rookie of the year, with 3 hours, 32 minutes remaining in the twice-round-the-clock endurance race. Dixon was tasked with conserving fuel and making no mistakes in pursuit of the Rolex watch. The Iceman delivered, and made it look easy, too. He totaled more than seven hours behind the wheel of the Target/Ford EcoBoost Riley Prototype, and had teammates Larson, Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray and Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan watching with little worry as he closed out the victory. The win gave team owners Ganassi and Felix Sabates their sixth win in 12 Rolex attempts - most in the 53-year history of the race. It was the second win for Dixon, who was part of the 2006 victory with Casey Mears and Dan Wheldon. It was the first Rolex win for McMurray, Kanaan and Larson, who felt he was so underwhelming in his debut last season that he let his team down and never wanted to return to the sports car race. Instead, he drove his own impressive three-plus hour stint in the middle of the night, then put together a brief but error-free run Sunday morning to get the team into the time window to turn the car over to Dixon. McMurray joined AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti as the only drivers to win the Daytona 500 and the Rolex.(Associated Press)(1-25-2015)
Felix Sabates honored by Allegro Foundation: The Allegro Foundation and its board of directors will [honored] NASCAR team owner Felix Sabates at its sixth annual Ambassador's Ball Saturday night at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte. The foundation combines movement instruction with medical and educational expertise to create new techniques to teach children with disabilities and enhance their quality of life. The foundation [honored] Sabates, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, for his support for the organization over the past decade. All proceeds from the ball go directly to Allegro's free movement education programs for more than 700 children with disabilities throughout the Charlotte and Fort Mill, S.C., areas.(Charlotte Observer)(1-11-2015)
RCR Sues former employee: Richard Childress Racing failed to prove that an engineer who became another team's crew chief stole trade secrets, the North Carolina Business Court ruled. Matthew McCall started working for RCR as a race engineer on the Camping World Truck Series team in 2010. Two years later, RCR promoted him to similar position working on the #31 Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. McCall's contract included provisions that, if he resigned, he could not work for a competitor in a similar capacity for 12 months. During the 2014 season, McCall said several times that he would like to work as a crew chief for a Sprint Cup team. When RCR offered McCall a crew-chief spot on the Nationwide Series, NASCAR's second-ranked circuit, he resigned at the end of the 2014 Sprint Cup season. Two days later, Chip Ganassi Racing hired McCall as the crew chief for Jamie McMurray's #1 Chevy on the Sprint Cup circuit.
RCR sued McCall in Davidson County, N.C., in November for breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets. It moved on Dec. 3 for a temporary restraining order to keep McCall from working for Ganassi or another competitor. As quoted in the Dec. 19 ruling, RCR argued that the positions were similar because McCall "routinely performed the tasks of the crew chief (and complained about doing so)," and filled in for the crew chief when he was unavailable. (Parentheses in original.) The team also noted that McCall officially served as the crew chief during the 2013 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. McCall responded that he filled in as crew chief during for just one practice session and one testing session. During the Brickyard 400, the regular crew chief was suffering from an eye injury but made the critical decisions from a trailer, where he was watching the race, McCall added. The North Carolina Business Court denied RCR's request for a restraining order. "Plaintiff has not shown, at this time, a likelihood of success on its claim that by accepting a crew chief position with Ganassi, Defendant has become employed in a 'capacity identical or similar to that in which he participated while employed by (plaintiff) and therefore as breached the employment contract," Judge Louis Bledsoe III wrote. RCR also did not prove that McCall had or would disclose its trade secrets, the court found.(Court House News)(1-1-2015)
Larson, McMurray running Rolex 24 for Ganassi: Seven-time IMSA Champions and five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced the fielding of two Prototypes for the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona, featuring eight drivers that represent some of the best talent the motor racing world has to offer. Veteran Scott Pruett and new teammate Joey Hand will unite with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams' Verizon IndyCar Series race-winner Charlie Kimball and CGRT development driver Sage Karam to form the lineup in the #01 Ford EcoBoost/Target Riley, while CGRT Verizon IndyCar Series Champions and Indianapolis 500 Winners Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan join CGRFS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series reigning Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson and NSCS race-winner Jamie McMurray in the #02 Target/Ford EcoBoost Riley. The 2015 CGRFS Rolex 24 At Daytona driver roster is an impressive group of international racing champions representing two Indianapolis 500 titles (Dixon-2008, Kanaan-2013), a Daytona 500 (McMurray-2010), four Verizon IndyCar Series Championships (Dixon-2003, 2008, 2013 and Kanaan-2004), seven Prototype Championships (Pruett-2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), and four Rookie of the Year honors in their respective series (Kanaan-1999, Dixon-2001, McMurray-2003, Larson-2014). The group brings with them 144 total wins.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(12-19-2014)
McCall named new crew chief for McMurray: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that Matt McCall has been named crew chief for Jamie McMurray and the #1 team. McCall will assume the role effective immediately to prepare for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. McCall joins CGRFS from Richard Childress Racing where he most recently has been the race engineer for the #31 Chevy that made it to the Championship round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, ultimately finishing the season second in the championship point standings. McCall is also a former driver who has competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series. In fact, racing has been in his blood from an early age as he began racing go-karts at age nine and eventually joined the World Karting Association Dirt Series where he would ultimately win the honor of Grand National Champion. He would also go on to race in Super Sport events as well. The Denver, NC native graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a major in mechanical engineering. The 33-year-old McCall is also passionate about fitness and holds a third-degree black belt in karate.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(11-18-2014)
Crew chief change for Kahne?: Since #5-Kasey Kahne's struggles earlier this season, rumors have persisted that Hendrick Motorsports would make a crew chief change on the #5 Farmer's Insurance Chevy. Although Kenny Francis has guided Kahne to 16 wins and five Chase appearances, this season the team barely made the playoffs after pulling off a last-minute victory at Atlanta. After eight seasons with Francis, the success the pair once enjoyed appeared to evaporate after team engineer Keith Rodden left to join Ganassi Racing as crew chief for #1-Jamie McMurray. But if the rumor mill is right, Rodden could be returning to Hendrick Motorsports next season as Kahne's crew chief. The trio of Kahne, Francis and Rodden moved to HMS three seasons ago. Francis, who has a year remaining on his contract, would remain on in a technical director type of role. When asked about his status for next year, Francis declined comment. Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick said on Sunday morning, "I don't know what we're going to do yet. Doug Duchardt is working on some projects...nothing is done. Nothing is signed. We're looking at some options, but we're really happy with what we have." When asked whether Rodden was returning to HMS, Hendrick said, "I'm not sure." Ganassi Racing reps offered a similar reply. Long-time Hendrick Motorsports engineering director Rex Stump is moving to Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of the season.(Motorsport)(11-9-2014)
LiftMaster to honor Prescott Granite Mountain "Hotshots" at Phoenix: The #1 LiftMaster Chevy of Jamie McMurray will carry a special look this weekend to honor 19 firefighters from the Prescott Granite Mountain "Hotshots" who lost their lives battling a wildfire at Yarnell Hill, Ariz. in June 2013. As a tribute to their heroism, the hood of the LiftMaster Chevy SS will carry the names of all 19 firefighters, as LiftMaster, Jamie McMurray and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates honor these fallen heroes and their families this weekend for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500.(CGR), see an image of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(11-7-2014)
WeMo featured on McMurray's Chevy at NHMS: The #1 Chevy SS driven by Jamie McMurray will sport the vibrant green colors from WeMo this weekend at NHMS. WeMo is a growing family of innovative, easy-to-use products that use mobile internet to control your home electronics, power, water, and Wi-Fi right from your smartphone or tablet. WeMo also works with IFTTT, connecting your home electronics to a whole world of online applications.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(9-19-2014)
Lexar sponsoring McMurray at Kentucky: The #1 Chevy SS driven by Jamie McMurray will feature the Lexar paint scheme at Kentucky Speedway. Lexar boasts one of the most comprehensive portfolios of high-performance, award-winning products in every major flash memory category, including memory cards, card readers, and USB flash drives. The paint scheme includes an array of colorful USB flash-drives across the car. Lexar Products include industry-leading memory cards for photography and video, card readers, high-performance USB flash drives, and memory cards for mobile devices.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(6-26-2014)
Chip Ganassi Racing signs PNC as sponsor: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. announced a new multi-year sponsorship agreement. The agreement is the second between Ganassi and PNC, which have also had a banking relationship that goes back 25 years. With the wide range of racing that CGRT participates in across three national touring series of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), the Verizon IndyCar Series and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (TUSC), the agreement provides PNC with business development and client entertainment opportunities throughout the year. The agreement will focus on the following five racing markets in 2014: Indianapolis, Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte and Richmond, Va. PNC, which has a business presence in all five regions, will use the high interest in auto racing and the CGRT relationship to offer unique events and behind-the-scenes activities to clients and prospects.(CGR)(5-23-2014)
Bass Pro Shops sponsors McMurray in All-Star Race: Bass Pro Shops will salute the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) this weekend at the Sprint All-Star Race with a special NWTF paint scheme on the #1 Chevy of Jamie McMurray. Through vital partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America, spending more than $412 million to conserve nearly 17.2 million acres of habitat. The NWTF is a national nonprofit organization that is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. Founded in 1973, the NWTF is headquartered in Edgefield, S.C., and has local chapters in every state. The last time that the #1 team ran the Bass Pro Shops livery, Jamie McMurray drove the car to victory in the 2013 Sprint Unlimited at CMS to advance his way into the Sprint All-Star Race, where he started 20th and finished eighth (CGR), see images of the car on the #1 Team Schemes page.(5-16-2014)
Ganassi explains why 'Earnhardt' is no longer part of team name: For the first time since 1996, there will not be a team in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series with "Earnhardt" in its corporate name. The string began in 1996 when the late Dale Earnhardt formed Dale Earnhardt Inc. In less than a decade, it had become one of the premier teams in Cup competition, with son and namesake Dale Earnhardt Jr. as its on-track figurehead. But once Junior left DEI for Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, the once-feared company began by the man they called The Intimidator began to slowly disappear. Now, the Earnhardt corporate name is essentially extinct. After an ill-fated and short-lived merger with Ginn Racing in mid-2007, team owner Teresa Earnhardt lent her company's name and some of its assets to fellow team owner Chip Ganassi, forming Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in 2009. In the year before Junior left the family fold, Earnhardt's widow also lent her late husband's surname to Richard Childress Racing to form a new business - known as Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technology - designed to build motors for both RCR and other teams that would lease the engines. But as the Earnhardt name lived on with other teams, Teresa Earnhardt withdrew more and more from being active in racing. She continued to oversee the still-thriving souvenir business that memorialized her late husband and kept his name and legend alive, but that was about it.
Now in 2014, what was Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for the last five seasons has reverted back to its original name prior to joining forces with Earnhardt, namely Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. And what was Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technology has quietly become simply ECR, with a team source telling MotorSportsTalk that "the E no longer stands for anything. It doesn't stand for Earnhardt. It's just ECR now."
Ganassi spoke to MotorSportsTalk at Daytona International Speedway on Friday about how the relationship with Teresa Earnhardt essentially disappeared with time, to the point where it no longer made sense to keep her late husband's surname as part of the team. "I wish I could explain it but I can't explain it," Ganassi said. "I don't have a good answer for you. We had a relationship and I don't know what happened. We can't get her on the phone; it's hard to try to communicate with somebody. She obviously has some other things on her plate, I guess, and that's her prerogative. She was never active in the team. I think she wanted to keep the name out there to some extent, and I don't know what Richard's (Petty) relationship is there (to Richard Petty Motorsports), but it's kinda the same thing. There's no ill will, I just don't have an answer, to tell you the truth. She just wasn't there anymore."(NBC Sports)(2-22-2014)
Chip Ganassi changes team name, drops Earnhardt from NASCAR operation: When Sprint Cup testing begins Thursday morning at Daytona International Speedway, there will be one well-known NASCAR name missing among the list of team owners. Earnhardt. The #1 and #42 Sprint Cup teams, which were run the last five years under the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates banner, will now return to their former name: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The sign outside the North Carolina shop already has been changed, and stickers on the cars and patches on the driver and crew uniforms will carry the Chip Ganassi logo instead of the EGR logo. Ganassi officials confirmed the change Wednesday but had no comment on the financial structure of the current organization, which fields Sprint Cup cars for Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson. Teresa Earnhardt, widow of seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt and owner of Dale Earnhardt Inc., has not been involved in the day-to-day operations of the team and with the change apparently no longer has any financial stake in the NASCAR operation. There will be no change in the operation of the Ganassi teams, as Teresa Earnhardt has had little influence on the organization's day-to-day operations. Ganassi began using Hendrick Motorsports engines in 2013 in its two Cup cars.(in part from the Sporting News)(1-9-2014)
Earnhardt Ganassi extends McMurray's contract: Jamie McMurray will return to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's #1 car in 2014, team co-owner Chip Ganassi said Friday. Following the announcement of Kyle Larson as the replacement for Juan Pablo Montoya in the organization's #42 car, Ganassi confirmed McMurray's contract extension. "We just re-did Jamie's contract," Ganassi said Friday in confirming McMurray's return in 2014.(Sporting News)(8-31-2013)
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Form Athletic Apparel Partnership: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced a multi-year partnership with C9 by Champion, Target's exclusive brand of performance activewear, to become the official athletic apparel provider to all six of the organization's race teams across the NASCAR, INDYCAR and GRAND-AM series. The performance collection will be worn for working out in the gym and training for race days. The lifestyle pieces will be worn by drivers, crew and executive staff at the track. In addition, the C9 by Champion branding will be carried on multiple assets across all six teams and eight drivers, including race cars, team transporters, firesuits and team gear.(EGR)(5-25-2013)
Earnhardt Ganassi switching to Hendrick engines: The "Earnhardt" in Earnhardt-Childress Racing won't use the company's engines beginning in 2013. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will use motors leased from Hendrick Motorsports starting next season, a team representative told reporters at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday. The move is surprising considering ECR was formed as a joint engine-building effort between Earnhardt Ganassi and Richard Childress Racing. EGR has struggled over the last two seasons with drivers #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #1-Jamie McMurray, and team owner Chip Ganassi apparently felt a change was necessary in the engine program. RCR team owner Richard Childress said he wasn't surprised by Ganassi's decision to pull out of ECR and said he's been aware of the possibility for quite some time. Childress said his team will have "a couple" new customers next season - though he wouldn't say who - and also has an existing sponsor in Furniture Row Racing. ECR will retain its name because the teams "have a different relationship with the engines," Childress said.(SB Nation)(11-2-2012)
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, September 4, 2015, 4:30 pm/et
Born in AUGUST
29 Wendell Scott, Jim Brady, Geneva Key, Tim Peters, Ken Stout, Paul Vanderlaan
30 Mike Helton, Sue Fiala, Mark Allen, Gordon Gibbs, John Erickson
31 Sara Eolin, Patti Jarrett Makar, Mike Nelson, Jerry Baxter Jr., Erin Beam, Wayne Orme, Mike Morneau, Angus Adamczyk
Born in SEPTEMBER
1 Marcos Ambrose, Hilly Rife, Denise Bierschwale
2 Matt Borland, Gene Nead, Corrie Stott, Brian Keselowski, Alli Owens, Bob Margolis
3 Brandon Lee, Pat Frossard, Jerry Pitts, Marc Mitchell, Russell Baxter
4 Chad Blount, Bob Jenkins, Mike Mulhern, Ken Butler, Bobby Wawak
5 Jack Daniel, Scott Robinson
6 Jeff Green, Kenny Bernstein, Linda Smokested
7 ESPN, Andy Santerre, Donnie Allison
8 Jim Hunter, Frank Warren, Blake Bjorklund, David Ray Boggs, Larry Dickson, A J Cox, Buddy Shuman, Don Coble, Pam Coble
9 Felix Sabates, Jerry Nadeau, Jeff Hammond, Wayne Hamby, Phil Barkdoll, Joseph Fenning, Kyle Grissom, Kirk George
10 Bobby Hillis, Tommy Gale, Ralph Moody, John Kenny
11 Bill Whittington, Gary Graves, Joy Fair, Joe Lee Johnson, Bob Harris, Ellen Fuscellaro, Butch Zervakis
12 Myrna 'Mom' Adamczyk, Ricky Rudd, Jason Statham, Ken Ragan, Ron Keselowski, Ford Martin, Todd Cable, John Sacco
13 Mike Garvey, Carey Wimbish, Frank Kerr
14 Tony Furr, Dominic Dobson
15 Jimmy Fennig, Wayne Harron, Jim Smith, J.C. Stout, Paulie Harraka