Races that McDonald's [16 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016 (on hood):
Daytona - 2/13, Sprint Unlimited
Atlanta - 2/28, w/Cessna
Phoenix - 3/13
Auto Club - 3/20
Bristol - 4/17
Talladega - 5/1
Kansas - 5/7
Charlotte - 5/29, w/Cessna
Michigan - 6/12
Indianapolis - 7/24, w/Cessna
Watkins Glen - 8/7
Bristol - 8/20, w/Cessna
Darlington - 9/4, Mac Tonight throwback
Chicago - 9/18
Charlotte - 10/8
Martinsville - 10/30
Homestead - 11/20
Races that Cessna [13 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016 (on hood):
Las Vegas - 3/6, Beechcraft
Martinsville - 4/3, Bad Boy Off Road/Beechcraft
Texas - 4/9
Charlotte - 5/29, w/McDonald's
Pocono - 6/5
Sonoma - 6/26
Kentucky - 7/9
Indianapolis - 7/24, w/McDonald's
Bristol - 8/20, w/McDonald's
Michigan - 8/28
Kansas - 10/16
Talladega - 10/23
Phoenix - 11/13
Races that CreditOne [3 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Richmond - 4/24
Daytona - 7/2
Dover - 10/2
Races that Sherwin Williams [1 race] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Texas - 11/6
Races that Bass Pro Shops [1 race] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Charlotte, All Star Race - 5/21
Unannounced sponsor for the following races in 2016:
Dover - 5/15
New Hampshire - 7/17
Pocono - 7/31
Richmond - 9/10
New Hampshire - 9/25
Contract Status: Driver: 2016; Sponsors: McDonald's 2016?, Cessna 2016?
McMurray's Darlington scheme a throwback to Bill Elliott: Chip Ganassi Racing announced that the #1 McDonald's Chevy will sport an iconic look for the Labor Day Weekend race at the famed Darlington Raceway. Jamie McMurray will drive the #1 Chevrolet SS featuring a popular look from the past. Originally run by NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott in 1997, McMurray's throwback ride will feature a Mac Tonight paint scheme for the 2016 Southern 500. Mac Tonight was a sunglasses-wearing, piano-playing crooner with a crescent moon for a head, who sang the popular jingle "Mac Tonight". The midnight blue car, covered with stars and the Mac Tonight crescent moon will brighten the night at the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. The Mac Tonight campaign was originally created for California McDonald's franchisees, intended to increase the after 4pm dinner business for the restaurant chain.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(8-15-2016)
Ganassi says lug nut issue is 'silly': Car owner Chip Ganassi called crew chief suspensions in NASCAR "complete silliness" and said the "whole lug nut thing is a silly thing" during an interview Wednesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Ganassi's comments on "Dialed In" came on the same day NASCAR suspended one of his crew chiefs, Chad Johnston, for not having all the lug nuts properly secured on Kyle Larson's car Monday at Pocono Raceway. Johnston will miss this weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway. Ganassi told host Claire B. Lang on Wednesday that the new policy has steered the conversation of the sport in a direction he doesn't think it needs to go. "I just think the whole lug nut thing is a silly thing," Ganassi said. "We're in a major sport that on any given weekend we have over 100,000 people that show up and watch and it's the most-watched sport on television sometimes on the weekend and we're sitting here talking about lug nuts. Are you kidding me? Please. They need to move the conversation. I'm saying NASCAR needs to move the conversation to something a little more relevant than lug nuts." So if not lug nuts, what should be the topic of conversation be in NASCAR, Lang asked Ganassi. "I think all sports are challenged with how to grow their sport," he said. "We're on the backend of the baby-boom generation. All these sports were built on the baby-boom generation and there just aren't the fans following any sport as much as they used to. There just aren't the people behind the baby-boom generation that are watching television or watching sports. There seems to be this trend toward participation sports, not viewing sports.(NBC Sports)(6-10-2016)
McMurray's #1 Chevy special Bass Pro Shops Design in All-Star race: Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) announced that 2014 Sprint All-Star Race winner Jamie McMurray's #1 Chevy will feature a special Bass Pro Shops paint scheme to honor the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) in this weekend's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS). Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder, Johnny Morris, announced to an enthusiastic crowd of fellow conservationists earlier this year, at the annual NWTF Convention and Sports Show, that he would pay special recognition to the NWTF by way of offering the paint scheme for this year's Sprint All-Star race as a way to acknowledge the members and volunteers that make up the NWTF. McMurray who captured his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) victory at CMS, will make his 10th start in the Sprint All-Star Race. This will also be the sixth time that McMurray as piloted the #1 Chevy SS with the Bass Pro Shops and NWTF branding during the Sprint All-Star Race weekend festivities (CGR), see an image of the car on the #1 Team Schemes page (5-21-2016)
McMurray still sore from practice crash: #1-Jamie McMurray was still tender on Saturday - one day after he plowed into the wall at Dover International Speedway. McMurray found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time after Danica Patrick's rear end gear failed and saturated the exit of Turn 4 with grease. The driver of the #1 McDonald's Chevy hit the grease and shot into the wall - sans SAFER barrier - before sliding down the front stretch and coming to a stop on the inside wall just short of the exit of pit road. "My elbow is still real sore, but that doesn't bother me as much as my ribs," McMurray told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "My ribs hurt really bad today. Obviously, when you get in the seat, the part of the seat that pushes on your ribs is the part you still feel right now. To Dover's credit, the track added 479 feet of SAFER barrier in Turn 3 prior to this weekend. But that was of little consolation to McMurray - or Tony Stewart, who hit the grease and the wall just prior to the #1 car. "That's unacceptable in this day and time that we have a straight-away - especially at a track like Dover on the outside where we've seen just crazy big hits," McMurray said. "I have no idea why they don't have that. I assume that we'll have that by the fall. But yeah, it's unacceptable that they don't have that they don't have that right now."(Motorsport)(5-15-2016)
Parts failure leads accident with Patrick, Stewart, McMurray: A gear failure sent #10-Danica Patrick into a fiery spin, triggering a three-car accident that resulted in Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray spinning in the oil left by Patrick's car and hitting the wall hard in the opening minutes of practice Friday at Dover International Speedway. Stewart, who missed the first eight races this year because of a broken back, walked gingerly after getting out of the car. Patrick said she was fine and that McMurray was nursing a sore elbow. Zipadelli said the Patrick car blew a rear-end gear and that SHR driver Kurt Busch experienced a vibration at the start of practice. The team plans to change gears in its other cars.
Stewart and McMurray hit outside walls on the frontstretch that are not covered by energy-absorbing barrier. Dover added 479 feet of SAFER barrier on the inside backstretch wall and on the inside of Turn 3 prior to the race weekend as that area was identified as needing immediate attention. There are SAFER barriers on the inside wall down the frontstretch but only in the turns. NASCAR conducted a safety review of all tracks to help develop a plan to add SAFER barriers where deemed necessary. "It shouldn't even be a question whether or not tracks have SAFER barrier all the way around," Patrick said. "It should be mandatory. It shouldn't be a financial decision." Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said he assumed that every wall had a SAFER barrier at Dover but understood the philosophy that the drivers run up against the wall on the frontstretch at the track. He said drivers would adjust to a new groove if Dover added a SAFER barrier to that portion of the track. "The outside wall doesn't bother me too much that it doesn't have the SAFER barrier on it," Johnson said. "It's not like a mile and a half where we have the D-shaped front straightaway and you actually get away from the wall and, if something went wrong, have a terrible angle at the wall. "With all that said, I'd take a soft wall over a hard wall any day in any situation. ... I'm not overly concerned here. I guess I understand why there isn't on the frontstretch here."(ESPN.com)(5-12-2016)
NASCAR watching bodywork modifications: Two instances of bodywork modification -- one mid-race, one post-race -- caught the eye of NASCAR officials during last Saturday's Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, detailed those circumstances in a Monday morning appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "Morning Drive" program. Kyle Busch scored his third Sprint Cup victory of the season in Saturday night's GoBowling 400, breaking an 0-for-16 drought at the 1.5-mile Kansas City track, historically a stumbling block for the reigning series champ. Busch's exuberant post-race burnout shredded the right-rear tire, causing significant damage to the fender of the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Toyota.
"We really don't like to see that happen," Miller told SiriusXM. "There was a little bit of a rash of it last year and we kind of got that in check, and this is the first time we've seen it in a while. We certainly don't like to see it, but I believe Kyle was very happy because he's really, really struggled at that race track and he just got a little overzealous there with the celebration. We've had a lot of JGR cars through NASCAR, so we have a pretty good idea of what they're doing with their stuff so I don't ... it's not that suspicious to me, really."
The other bodywork issue that drew officials' attention, Miller said, involved the Chip Ganassi Racing #1 Chevrolet for driver Jamie McMurray . The team was flagged on Lap 30 in the 267-lap race for unapproved adjustments to the car's body during a pit stop. Miller used a football analogy to describe the alteration.
"We've gone to great lengths to get bracing in the side of the cars and define how all the parts and pieces have gotta be, and that's for one reason -- so that the sides don't cave in and the quarterpanels don't cave in," Miller said. "Their jackman looked like an offensive lineman throwing a block at the side of their car, so it caved the side in. We saw it, didn't like it, and back down pit road they came to fix it. That's just how it works. You can't pull on the skirts or cave the sides in or alter the body of the car on pit road, and that's what they did."(NASCAR.com)(5-10-2016)
Credit One Bank debuts as primary sponsor on McMurray's #1: Credit One Bank will make its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams as the primary partner on the #1 Credit One Bank Chevrolet SS. The car, driven by 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contender Jamie McMurray, will hit the track for the first time this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. The Credit One Bank signature blue paint scheme can also be seen on the #1 Chevrolet later this season at Daytona International Speedway and Dover Speedway (Oct. 2). Credit One Bank, introduced earlier this year as the "Official Credit Card of NASCAR", offers full spectrum credit card products, and is among the top 10 largest Visa credit card issuers in the United States. The Credit One Bank NASCAR credit card provides 1 percent cash back on eligible purchases and 2 percent cash back on purchases made at NASCAR.com. Card members also benefit from exclusive discounts from retail partners such as Fanatics and NASCAR Racing Experience.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(4-21-2016)
Ganassi crew member to have heart surgery: Front tire changer Nick Krizmanich of Chip Ganassi Racing will undergo open-heart surgery on March 29. Krizmanich has been a mainstay on pit road for the last few years working with multiple teams, including the #11, 2 and 42. This year Krizmanich was slated as the backup for the #1 and 42. "My condition was found during a physical," Krizmanich said. "The condition the doctors are fixing is called an aortic insufficiency. They will be replacing the main aortic valve in my heart through open-heart surgery. Apparently, the valve I was born with has a defect and doesn't close all the way, not allowing blood to fully pump through my heart and body. Thankfully, they found it, and it's getting fixed before it got even worse."(Pit Talks)(3-29-2016)
McMurray visits Martinsville high school: #1-Jamie McMurray spent Wednesday (3/16/2016) morning with the MADawgs robotic team and other engineering students at Martinsville High School, learning about their competitive robotics program and 3-D printing operation and taking some questions on racing. The driver said he went to school to be a machinist and appreciated the time the students put in to the projects. "I thought it was really cool to see all the time the kids put in after-hours," McMurray said. "It's really neat and is something I would have wanted to be a part of when I was in school. It's really cool to see the kids use their heads to build something like that then do it in competition. It was really cool." McMurray admitted that he has a competitive streak and was happy to hear about the competitive aspect of MADawgs. "They give them parameters to work it. The challenge of it wasn't just building a robot, it was going and competing," McMurray said. "I've always been super competitive. I like the fact you get to build something as a team and see how you stack up against everybody else." Todd Cassell, the engineering and robotics teacher at Martinsville High School, said he was thrilled to have McMurray in town for the morning. McMurray met the Bulldogs' basketball team before heading out and posed for photographs with a number of students.(full post at the Martinsville Bulletin)(3-17-2016)
Ganassi, Kauffman Discuss Partnership: Chip Ganassi and Rob Kauffman met with media and discussed their new partnership, a partial transcript:
ON HIS PARTNERS
CHIP GANASSI: "It's a good opportunity for Chip Ganassi and Chip Ganassi Racing to have partners like Rob (Kauffman) and Felix (Sabates). From my point of view, Rob wanted to stay in the sport and this was a good opportunity for him to do that. We both have shared interest in lots of different kinds of cars and I think that's probably what brought us together. And I think it's obvious that Rob has skillsets I don't have and maybe vice-versa. So, it seemed to work well."
Q) IS ROB KAUFFMAN A PARTNER IN THE WHOLE ORGANIZATION, OR JUST NASCAR?
GANASSI: "Right now, it's NASCAR and Sports Car. We're trying to get him interested in IndyCar racing."
Q) HOW DO YOU LIKE WORKING WITH CHIP GANASSI?
ROB KAUFFMAN: "It's just really worked out well. I think at the end of the day, I'm a car guy who has been okay in business. The interesting thing about partnering with Chip is he's a racer that's created an actual racing business. He's one of the few people who's been successful in running racing as a business. If you look up the word racer in the dictionary, his picture is often there. And so for me, I think it's a good combination. I'm not the guy to figure out arrangements for aerodynamics to make the cars faster, but hopefully together we can have even more success, especially on the Cup side."
ROB KAUFFMAN: "We've thought about it. It didn't really work out for potentially bringing over the #15 or something like that, with Clint (Bowyer), but that didn't really work out. The way that system works is you have to run the cars. We're a two-car team. And we have two charters that we need. So that's really all that made sense to that.
ROB KAUFFMAN: "Remember that only brings about 25% of the budget you need to really run a competitive car, so it's that pesky 75 percent that costs you all the money if you don't have a sponsor. And there's of course the driver, the staff, and everything that goes along with it. So, the Charter stuff is really just a means to an end; not an end in itself. So, really the important thing is to have a solid racing business, which Chip has had for many years, and I'm proud to be a partner in that. And, hopefully I can bring some added resources and skills to the equation. But Chip has done a great job winning championships and races. His organization doesn't need my help to do that, which is great; and I can hopefully be an investor and a participant and hopefully help with more success."
Q) WHAT'S THE NEXT THING YOU'RE WORKING ON?
ROB KAUFFMAN: "Well, there's no shortage of things to do, I think, with the team itself. Chip and I, now that the little franchise project is done, and now working, Chip and I cannot focus a little bit more and try to work on developing the team and just get to know everybody and how I can contribute, really. With the RTA we have a number of projects underway just to kind of follow on. It fairly resembles a job now."
Q) WILL THERE BE ANY IMPACT ON THE WOOD BROTHERS WITHDRAWING FROM THE RTA?
ROB KAUFFMAN: "No, not at all. It's totally on good terms that make sense. The RTA is really about full-time teams and really it'll probably be Charter Teams only going forward. But they're great guys. When we talked to them the other day they gave me one of their metals when I was here and I would bet they will have a Charter sooner rather than later and rejoin and be part of it because then you have a say in what's going on and a more formal role as opposed to not being on the outside looking in."(Team Chevy)(2-20-2016)
Credit One Bank Becomes NASCAR, CGR Partner: One of the largest and fastest growing credit card issuers in the United States, Credit One Bank has entered into a multi-year official sanctioning body partnership which designates Credit One Bank as the "Official Credit Card of NASCAR." Additionally, Credit One will become a partner on the No. 1 Chevrolet of Chip Ganassi Racing. As part of the agreement with NASCAR, Credit One Bank will offer fans officially licensed NASCAR-themed credit cards. Credit One Bank will also be the primary partner of the #1 Chevy, piloted by "2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup" contender Jamie McMurray for three races, as well as a partner throughout the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) campaign. The #1 Credit One Bank Chevy will debut on the track at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) on April 24.
"Our partnerships with both NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing will introduce the benefits of Credit One Bank card membership to a new audience of consumers," said Laura Faulkner, vice president of marketing communications, Credit One Bank. "With the Official Credit Card of NASCAR, fans can further their love of racing with a rewards program that complements that same passion. We also look forward to supporting Jamie McMurray in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."
Credit One Bank offers full spectrum credit card products, and is among the top 10 largest Visa credit card issuers in the United States. Credit One Bank will offer cash back rewards, exclusive experiences, discounts, and special offers to their NASCAR Visa card members. The inaugural card design will feature NASCAR official marks and exciting race imagery, with additional designs to be released throughout the season. Fans can apply for the official NASCAR credit card by visiting www.CreditOneBank.com/NASCAR.
"We could not be happier with Credit One Bank's fully integrated campaign to introduce its brand to our industry, stakeholders, and most importantly, our fans," said Steve Phelps, NASCAR executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "As our entire industry gears up for Daytona 500 weekend, this new agreement signals that NASCAR is still one of the most effective marketing spends in all of sports."
Credit One Bank will utilize 2010 Daytona 500 champion McMurray as a spokesperson to promote its brand and the Official Credit Card of NASCAR. The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season will be McMurray's 14th full-time year in NASCAR's premier division. McMurray has seven career NSCS wins and 11 pole awards. McMurray is one of only three drivers to have won the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in a single season (2010).
"This announcement is really exciting news for our team, but it is also a testament to our sport when a company like Credit One Bank recognizes the power of brands like NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing. It is always nice to see new brands come to the sport and make a commitment like Credit One Bank has with this news," said Steve Lauletta, president, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. "We are excited to have Credit One Bank onboard the No. 1 Chevrolet with Jamie McMurray and look forward to working with them to introduce their products and services to NASCAR fans everywhere."
The Credit One Bank NASCAR marketing campaign will also include national television advertising, network and satellite radio advertising, sweepstakes and promotions, at-track marketing, unique retail partnerships and card member experiences for NASCAR fans.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 Team Schemes page.(2-13-2016)
Chip Ganassi won't rule out Ford NASCAR move: NASCAR team owner Chip Ganassi has refused to rule out a future switch from Chevrolet to Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup having strengthened its ties with the manufacturer ahead of the 2016 season. CGR has been synonymous with Chevrolet in NASCAR, but the team is strengthening its ties with Ford after joining forces to spearhead its new Le Mans and World Endurance Championship programme having worked together during the Daytona Prototype sportscar era. It also enjoys success in IndyCar using Honda engines (CORRECTION: the team runs Chevy in IndyCar NOT Honda). Though owner Ganassi maintains he is happy running three programmes with three different partners [CGR actually runs in six different series not three - NASCAR, NASCAR XFINITY (Chevy), IndyCar (Chevy), IMSA & WEC (Ford) and Global Rally Cross (Ford)], he suggests there is potential for more homogeny with Ford in the future, saying 'I would never say never. I would not rule it out all. I'm happy to run Honda (Chevy) in Indycar, Chevy in NASCAR and Ford in Sportscar racing, all the manufacturers we work with are fully aware of my deals with the other manufacturers, I go in with an open book. I think that is what it takes to be in this business today. I would compare it to a car dealer that has multiple name plates or a manufacturing company which work for different manufacturers. I think it's important that they understand that we do not kiss and tell. We try to the best we can for everyone."(Crash.net, article is a little inaccurate)(2-11-2016)
Kauffman says RTA close to NASCAR agreement: Rob Kauffman has partnered with team owner Chip Ganassi Racing after pulling his resources from Michael Waltrip Racing, which closed its competition department after the 2015 NASCAR season. Kauffman arrived in NASCAR from the world of high finance and was picked by an elite group of Cup car owners to chair the Race Team Alliance. The RTA has been tasked with improving series-wide efficiency among race teams - such as saving money on travel and pooling together for things such as health insurance. Last year Kauffman and RTA members started a conversation with NASCAR to create some sort of charter system to give race teams more tangible value, similar to a league franchise. NASCAR and RTA are expected to announce the charter plan before the start of this season, which begins with the Feb. 21 Daytona 500. Daytona Beach News Journal Motorsports Editor Godwin Kelly conducted an exclusive one on one interview with Kauffman during the Rolex 24 At Daytona for NASCAR This Week.
A few of the Q&A's:
Q) Define your function with Ganassi Racing?
Kauffman: Business partner. This is the early days of us figuring it out. Both of us are pragmatic people and we'll see what makes the most sense for me and what areas I can help benefit the team the most. I'm pretty flexible.
Q) Based on your history at Waltrip Racing, you seem to be able to spark performance with a race team.
Kauffman: We achieved some level of success at MWR but not the level that we wanted to reach. Chip is pretty successful and hopefully I can add to the mix. We did combine some parts of (Waltrip Racing) with Ganassi Racing, so some of the people, technology came over and we hope that makes us stronger on the NASCAR side.
Q) Talk about what you have been talking about with NASCAR.
Kauffman: I think it is pretty well known by now, this is a charter system with NASCAR to put more structure around teams so there is more value potentially to teams over time, so that NASCAR racing looks like other sports, which are organized and structured. We'd like team ownership to (look like) that of baseball or football. We are quite optimistic we will have something in place for 2016.
Q) Where does that now stand?
Kauffman: We have worked on this for a while. The teams have been working on it with NASCAR for a number of months. I think we are quite close to getting something done for the 2016 season, and the season starts in three weeks. I think all the major issues have been ironed out at this stage and now it's a matter of dotting the I's and crossing the T's and getting the paperwork sorted out. I'm quite optimistic we'll have something for this season. Read the full interview at the Daytona Beach News Journal (2-2-2016)
Ganassi receives the Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence: Chip Ganassi Racing owner Chip Ganassi, of Pittsburgh, Pa., has been named the recipient of the 2015 Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence. The announcement was made during the traditional prelude to the Rolex 24 At Daytona - the Grand Marshal Dinner - which was held at the Daytona 500 Club on Friday, January 29, 2016. The Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence recognizes a team owner or manager who has demonstrated the qualities of honesty, integrity, passion for the sport of automobile racing and an infinite love of cars altogether. The other candidates for the 2015 award were Bobby Rahal, Kevin Buckler and Bill Riley. A fixture in the auto racing industry for over 30 years as a race-car driver and team owner, Ganassi is considered one of the most successful and innovative owners in the sport. He currently counts two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, four in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, two in the World Endurance Championship and two cars in Global Rally Cross (RRDC/The Road Racing Drivers Club)(2-1-2016)
Motorsports Hall of Fame of America 28th class of inductees: The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) announced its 28th class of inductees at Daytona International Speedway, continuing a long-standing tradition of honoring legendary figures from a wide variety of racing disciplines.
The seven-person class of 2016 inductees: Everett Brashear, Richard Childress, Gary Gabelich, Chip Ganassi, Dave McClelland, Sam Posey and Bob Sweikert. Collectively, the illustrious group represents motorcycles, stock cars, sports cars, land speed records, drag boat records, drag racing and open-wheel racing. They will be enshrined at the 28th Annual Induction Ceremony presented by Bridgestone on the evening of June 29 at Daytona International Speedway, the new home of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Friday's announcement was made in the Daytona International Speedway media center as part of the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend, with domestic and international media in attendance. The MSHFA has previously inducted 223 motorsports luminaries; inductees are selected by a 200-person voting panel that includes past racing greats Mario Andretti, Craig Breedlove, Don Emde, Don Garlits and Richard Petty. Tickets for the 2016 Induction Ceremony can be purchased by calling 248.349.7223 or through the MSHFA website at www.mshf.com.(MSHFA)(1-30-2016)
Sherwin Williams back on the #1: images of the #1 Sherwin Williams Chevy showcar were taken at the recent Sherwin Williams National Sales Meetings. No word what race the scheme will run at in 2016. See images of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page (1-28-2016)
McMurray and Larson Look to Build on Late Season Momentum: A new season means new opportunities. As Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) anticipates the 2016 season, the team is looking forward to building on what was in many ways a very successful season in 2015. The #42 Target Chevy, #1 Cessna Chevy and #1 McDonald's Chevy will feature new paint schemes for the 2016 NSCS season. Following their 26th season with CGRT, primary partner Target will continue to feature a different paint scheme for day and night races. Primary partner Cessna will see their scheme switch from black to blue and white, which reflects Cessna's branding for their line-up of luxury aircraft. This will be the fourth year that Cessna will adorn the #1 Chevy. Longtime team partner McDonald's will also feature a new design with a metallic feel as they enter their seventh year with CGRFS.
Just as the 2015 season began, Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson, along with INDYCAR teammates Tony Kanaan and 2015 series champion Scott Dixon will start the year racing at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, where they look to defend their title. Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced Chad Johnston as the new crew chief for Kyle Larson and the #42 Target team. Johnston joins the team from Stewart-Haas Racing, where he has been the crew chief for three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart and the #14 Chevy since the 2014 season. Johnston also served as crew chief for Martin Truex, Jr. and the #56 at Michael Waltrip Racing from 2011 - 2013. In early December, Kyle Larson embarked on a 13 hour trip to Tokyo, Japan to visit JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. headquarters, makers of the premium synthetic oil brand, ENEOS. Highlights of the trip included visiting the company's R&D center, stopping at the busiest intersection in the world, taking in a local fish market, dining at McDonald's and riding a bullet train. ENEOS has backed Larson in the XFINITY Series since 2014 and continues to be a full-time associate partner on the two CGRT XFINITY Series teams and the Chip Ganassi Racing Red Bull Global Rallycross cars.(CGRFS), see some images of some of the schemes on the #1 Team Schemes page and #42 Team Schemes page (1-21-2016)
McMurray and Larson to run in the Rolex 24 at Daytona: Seven-time IMSA Champions and six-time and defending Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners Ford Chip Ganassi Racing (FCGR) announced that they will field two Prototype (P) class entries at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2016. The addition of the #01 and #02 Ford EcoBoost Prototypes brings the FCGR car count to a team-record four entries for the race after previously announcing a pair of Ford GTs last month. Chip Ganassi Racing Teams' (CGRT) four-time and reigning Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon joins teammates Tony Kanaan (2004 Champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 Winner), Kyle Larson (#42 Chevy in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 2014 Rookie of the Year) and Jamie McMurray (#1 Chevy in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 2010 Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 Winner) in the #02 car to defend their 2015 win, while FCGR newcomer and FIA European Formula 3 Championship race winner Lance Stroll will join former Formula One driver Alex Wurz, reigning WEC (World Endurance Championship) LMP1 Champion Brendon Hartley and three-time FIA World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx in the #01 machine.
Kyle Larson will be racing for the third time in the Rolex 24 At Daytona after winning the event in 2015 alongside teammates Dixon, Kanaan, and McMurray.
Jamie McMurray has competed in the Rolex 24 At Daytona seven times with FCGR (2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) and had his best finish in 2015 with an overall win alongside teammates Dixon, Kanaan, and Larson. With his victory in the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona, McMurray joined the exclusive company of two other racing legends, Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt, as the only drivers to win both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Daytona 500.(CGR)(12-30-2015)
Chip Ganassi Racing forms Generation Ganassi Driver Identification Program: Chip Ganassi and his Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced the creation of the Generation Ganassi (Gen G) racing talent identification program, a mentorship that will look to identify and assist North America's young and talented race car drivers. The program identifies 13-18 year old drivers as "Ones to Watch" in the world of auto racing and offers professional guidance to aid in fostering their growth within the sport of auto racing. The first recipient of the 2016 Generation Ganassi moniker is a 15-year-old driver from Canada named Devlin Defrancesco. Defrancesco has been racing karts since 2006 where he has had much success including winning the Canadian National Junior Championship in 2013, also named Vice-Champion of the CSAI Italian Championship and was third overall in the CIK FIA European Karting Championship. In 2015, he joined British racing team Carlin Motorsports to prepare for races in the FIA Formula 4 Championship.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(11-7-2015)
New spotter for McMurray: #1-Jamie McMurray will have a new pair of eyes in the sky at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. After 20 years on the spotters' stand, Lorin Ranier is moving on to pursue other options. Tyler Green, who most recently spotted for Aric Almirola and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, will take over for Ranier. Ranier followed his father Harry and grandfather H.B.'s footsteps into racing. Buddy Baker, Cale Yarborough, Bobby and Davey Allison all raced under the Ranier Racing banner. Baker and Yarborough both drove the #28 car from the pole to Victory Lane at Daytona for two of Ranier Racing's three 500 wins. Ranier Racing earned 24 wins over 17 NASCAR Cup seasons prior to selling the team to Robert Yates in 1988.(Motorsport)(11-6-2015)
Statement from Jamie McMurray regarding the passing of his niece: "I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of the friends and fans for the thoughts and prayers to our family, following the loss of my niece Lauren [Montez], who passed away last Sunday Oct. 4. Lauren was the inspiration behind my becoming involved with Autism awareness and the work that we have done through the Jamie McMurray Foundation with Autism Speaks. My sister Trisha and our entire family appreciate the respect of privacy during this difficult time.(more info at jamiemcmurray.com.(10-7-2015)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, September 2, 2016, 3:30pm/et
TV: NBCSN 3:30pm/et
Born in AUGUST
30 Mark Allen, John Erickson, Sue Fiala, Gordon Gibbs, Mike Helton, Bruce McLaren, Volney Schulze, Jack Yardley
31 Angus Adamczyk, Pete Arnold, Jerry Baxter Jr., Erin Beam, Sara Eolin, Cal Johnson, Patti Jarrett Makar, Mike Morneau, Mike Nelson, Wayne Orme
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, Seth Ostrander, 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