NASCAR, IRL and Grand-Am team owner Chip Ganassi joined Dave Despain on Wind Tunnel on SPEED Sunday to discuss his recent decision to shut down the No. 40 Dodge team driven by Dario Franchitti, resulting in a loss of 70 jobs.
CHIP GANASSI INTERVIEW:
Dave Despain: What happened?
It was an unfortunate thing. It broke my heart but there was no sponsorship for the No. 40 car and Felix (Sabates) and I were having to run it out of our pockets and we’re not in that kind of condition to be doing that. I don’t think that makes good sense for people like us.
DD: You field a lot of cars. You’ve got the NASCAR teams, you’ve got the Indy Car teams, you’ve got the sport car team. Is there a seat for Dario somewhere?
CG: There’s a seat for him wherever he wants and whenever he wants. We have to do the right thing for his career and I’m going to make every effort to do that, believe me. With the Cup team, it’s just a matter of there is no sponsorship. We’re out of the top 35 right now with that car. It doesn’t make sense.
DD: At least one website has tried to make the connection between this and to me, the previously non-controversy of the No. 42 car having three crew chiefs this season. The term ‘disarray’ was used. Is your team in disarray?
CG: That’s just ridiculous to even say that. My Grand-Am team won the race Thursday night and we’re leading the points in the Grand-Am Series. We’re leading the points in the IRL Series. We’ve got more wins here (IRL) than anyone else. Both my drivers have won here (IRL). Both my teams have won in Grand-Am. I just think ‘disarray’ might be a little reckless word to use.
DD: So, your Cup team is in good shape?
CG: These teams are like children. Some of them need more work than others. That’s the way it is. It’s just a fact of life and it’s a challenge I’ve accepted. I accept and I’m doing it. We were a three-car Cup team and now we’re a two-car Cup team. It’s that simple.
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