Ganassi NASCAR Struggles Continue
The highlight of Chip Ganassi Racing’s IndyCar season will be Dario Franchitti’s riveting last-lap victory in the Indianapolis 500.
The highlight of Ganassi’s Sprint Cup season has been Juan Pablo Montoya’s fiery encounter with a jet drier in the Daytona 500.
The Ganassi organization’s long struggle to match its success in Sprint Cup racing to its accomplishments in the long-time team owner’s other motorsports adventures continues.
It’s one of NASCAR’s enduring mysteries.
Ganassi did some housecleaning after last season, one he termed “pathetic.” Shown the door were long-time team executives Steve Hmiel and Tony Glover. Welcomed were new general manager Max Jones, technical director John Probst and crew chief (for Montoya) Chris Hero.
Results? The good ones still could be coming, but so far the progress doesn’t show in the statistics.
Montoya is 18th in Sprint Cup points, and Jamie McMurray is 21st. Montoya has led only seven laps all season, McMurray only one. Neither has scored a top-five finish in the first 12 races, and neither was able to win the Sprint Showdown – against a bare-bones field – two weeks ago at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
For a team that hopes to reach the rare air occupied by the Hendricks and Roushes and Gibbses of the stock car racing world, much work remains.
Montoya remains somewhat of a mystery in NASCAR clothing. There is no question that he is one of the world’s great wheelmen, and he has proven in five-plus years of NASCAR racing that he can transfer his considerable skills to stock cars. He has won twice, but he hasn’t been able to close the deal on an oval track, a still that obviously must be refined if he hopes to challenge the big boys of the game. Speed.com
Psst, Chip, You wanna start winning in NASCAR? Then you need to stop supporting arch rival IndyCar. Only then will your team get 'The Call' on a regular basis. Ditto for you Roger.